It's a common scenario. I find myself going farther than I ever intended, doing things well beyond long-standing boundaries I've set for myself. It seems "beyond me," "beneath me." How could I???
The devil made me do it. That must be it.
...or could it be something else?
Does the devil - or any of his minions - really have that much power over us? Not if we are in Christ.
In the book of 1 John, chapter 3, we are told that sin is something we practice. In other words, a series of conscious choices we make. Not a result of some outside influence (not even satan). And in verse 8, we have the remarkable statement: "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." That appearing happened over 2,000 years ago. The works of satan were destroyed, and his power has been limited ever since. And his demise is sure - as foretold in Revelation 20. He really doesn't have that much power. We give him far too much credit.
So if it's not the devil...?
Scripture is clear, the heart of man is exceedingly wicked. We don't need the devil's influence, we are already depraved just by our very nature. But for those who are in Christ, that doesn't have to be the case. When we turn our lives over to Him, when we walk in the power of His Spirit, everything changes.
There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are In Christ Jesus. - Romans 8:1
In prior posts, I've pointed out some of the lies that we just seem to routinely believe. This "devil made me do it" is just another one of those lies. It's a trick of the enemy meant to distract and leave us powerless to his schemes. He does prowl around like a roaring lion, seeking to steal kill & destroy (notice it's "like" a lion, not "as" a lion, and also notice the word "seeking"). We should be watchful, on guard. But we are NOT powerless before him! We do not have to submit to his attacks. He does NOT have that much power over us. In fact James 4:7 gives us a simple two-step process for overcoming any attack of the enemy.
Step 1: Submit to God.
Step 2: Resist the devil.
Result: he will flee!
Next time you're tempted, remember these two steps and watch the power of Christ at work, watch the enemy flee!
If you have not ever submitted your life to God, there's a simple process for that as well. I encourage you to do so and experience the freedom and power it will bring!
1) Confess to God that you have a sinful nature that needs His intervention.
2) Ask God to forgive you for your sin.
3) Invite Christ's Holy Spirit to be your guide from now on.
And then I encourage you to share your decision. Let us hear from you. Any of the bloggers on this site would be glad to hear of your decision and encourage you.
How do stepfamilies handle stress? How do you choose between spouse and child? Learn powerful, practical tools to build YOUR successful stepfamily from world renown expert Ron Deal!
FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember gave us God's blueprint for marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too!
Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us!
We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.
Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!