Why does Satan tempt us?

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. This verse makes it clear the devil is looking for prey. He will steal our souls if we let him (Mk 13:22). Short of that he’ll do whatever he can to prevent us from being effective in our service to our Master (2 Pe 1:3-15). At every turn he will try to steal our joy (2 Cor 12:7). The Bible calls Satan a deceiver (Rev 20:8), an accuser (Rev 12:10), and a tormentor (2 Cor 12:7). Satan does so well because he looks so good (2 Cor 11:14). One of Satan’s greatest successes was in the garden of Eden (Gen 3). One of his great failures was in the desert (Lk 4).

Jas 1:15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Temptations play on our carnal desires. If the lies can be sold to us through convincing deception (our nature is to want to hear what we want to hear), we let desire turn into sin through our choices and actions. If Satan could cause the fall of the perfect creation of God (Gen 1:31, 3:6), don’t you think he can get to us? Especially if we don’t seek (Jn 15:7) a “hedge” of protection from God (Job 1:10).

I’ve heard some Christians say Satan is just trying to make us ineffective, that he can’t harm us directly. Don’t be deceived! Remember the parable of the seeds (Lk 8)? Satan tries and all too often succeeds at stealing faith. Do you think you can’t fail in faith? If so, then you have already accepted a lie. There is a warning in 2 Pe 2:21. No faith means no salvation (Jn 3:18). You must always be on your guard (1 Pe 5:8), always standing (Eph 6:13), always pressing toward the prize (Phil 3:14).

This post is an excerpt from my book Ask James one.

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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