Let’s begin by answering your second question first: How can we discern if it is Satan or God talking to our spirits? James 1:13 tells us, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” The Lord DOES NOT tempt us to sin. He may try our faith with different and varied situations, but He will never put something before us to entice us to do evil.

On the other hand, Satan’s temptations are for the sole purpose of getting us to sin. For example, he may tempt you to lie, or be greedy, or commit immorality, or any of the other sins God has clearly forbidden. The Lord will use trials to make us stronger and to draw us closer to Himself. Satan tempts us, attempting to cause us to sin, and in that sin, to dishonor the Lord.

How does Satan tempt us? Let’s consider 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Now, let’s compare this with Satan’s tempting of Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:1-5, “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Satan’s words to Eve appealed to her in three ways. Genesis 3:6 says, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

LUST OF THE FLESH – “…the woman saw that the tree was good for food.”

LUST OF THE EYES – “…it was pleasant to the eyes.”

PRIDE OF LIFE – “a tree to be desired to make one wise.”

We see that Satan can tempt us with sensual things. He can tempt us with the things we see. He can tempt us by appealing to our pride. It is in Matthew 4:3 that Satan is referred to as “the tempter.”

We can also see in Genesis 3:1-5, that Satan begins by questioning God’s Word. He said to Eve in verse 1, “Hath God said…?” Having caused Eve to doubt God’s Word, he goes on to say in verse 4, “…ye shall not surely die.” In essence, Satan calls God a liar, but Eve is not alarmed by that. It is vital to the believer to become very familiar with God’s Word so that we know what is of the Lord and what is not.

Are we mightier than Satan? No, we are not, BUT, the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer on the Lord Jesus Christ is SO MUCH STRONGER than Satan. We read in 1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” He that is in us is the Holy Spirit. He that is in the world is Satan. When we submit ourselves to the leading of the Spirit, we can truly live the life of an overcomer and resist Satan’s temptations and attempts to cause us to doubt God’s Word. (341.2)