Anatomy Of A Temptation




“God said, ?You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.?? But the serpent said to the woman, ?You will not surely die. (GE 3.3-4)

Tactic 1: Question God’s word. You won’t die. Nothing’s going to happen to you. Lots of people do this and it never hurt any of them.

For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.? (5)

Tactic 2: Question God’s character and wisdom. God is holding out on you. He’s denying you this good thing to frustrate you.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (6)

Tactic 3: Present the pleasurable aspects to the imagination. Just look at it – doesn’t it look good to eat? Isn’t it delightful to look at? Just get the customer into the car to smell the new car smell, and grab the steering wheel. Engage the imagination – wouldn’t this be fun to drive?


Tactic 1: Don’t reason with the thoughts. Say, “God’s word is true and says this is sin. I believe it. There will be consequences if I disobey God’s word.”

Tactic 2: Trust God’s character. God has a good reason for denying me this. He’s good and wise.

Tactic 3: Quit looking at it. Pray then flee as fast as you can.

photo by goingslo


  • Caroline says:

    Thank you for breaking it down and explaining it to the detail. Have been struggling with a specific area in my life, and the second tactic that you mentioned hit me hard. Gotta trust God's character. For me the part that, "God has a good reason for denying me this." was difficult to accept,and was being arrogant to ask Him "why?" Sometimes He chooses not to reveal his purposes. To be humble to accept it and to remember He is wise.

    Thank you again for the timely post. :)

  • Ben says:

    Really good post, Mark. I needed this today.

  • MarkAltrogge says:

    Hi Caroline,

    You are so right – to accept God's will tho we can't understand why he does things is "to be humble" and "remember He is wise." Excellent.

  • Paul C says:

    Great advice here, especially in the counterattack.

    It seems the devil gains a foothold when we begin to dialogue with him, or with sin… rationalization sweeps over us and distorts our vision the more we behold the 'fruit' (whatever that may be).

    Interesting, isn't it, how when the devil confronted Jesus, Jesus didn't get into too much back-and-forth. Instead, he quoted the word of God – the foundation on which He stood. For us lowly beings, how much more do we need conviction when it comes to God's word, especially in our age of compromise and tolerance. Wonderful post.

  • MarkAltrogge says:

    Excellent, Paul.

    You are so right, Jesus didn't get into a discussion with Satan but immediately thwarted him with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Great point! Thanks for adding your comments.

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