Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Devil Didn't Make Me Do That

A woman once bought a dress that cost $500. She was very concerned about what her husband might say about the extravagance of her purchase. When he came home she showed him how well the dress fit, how the color brought out her eyes, and generally how good she thought she looked in the dress. The then bombshell—$500 bucks! “How in the world could you do something so rash?” he asked. “Well; the Devil made me do it!” she shot back. “Then you should have told him, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan!’” he said. “Well I did.” She told her husband. “And he said, ‘uuuuu-we! It looks good from back here, too!’”

I never ceased to be amazed at the laughs I get from that one every time I tell it. But it does bring up a good point, and that is that many times we Believers want to blame the Devil for every ill fated thing that comes our way. It just isn’t so. In fact, honestly, the Devil probably has a lot less to do with your sin and mine than we would be comfortable admitting to. I have had people confide in me that Satan is responsible for everything from their hay fever allergies to their infidelity. They might pray against the demons of headaches, falling stock prices, and rage, but they will rarely seek to find out if their problems are based on their own sinful nature instead of the Devil's fiery darts.   

Adrian Rogers tells about a boy who called his sister a bad word, hit her with a broomstick, and spat on her. His horrified mother snatched him up and gave him a spanking, telling him that the Devil made him do those things. The boy tearfully replied, “The Devil may have made me curse at her and hit her, but spitting on her was all my idea!” That boy had a sound theology.

There are actually three things that cause us to sin; the world, the flesh and the Devil. The world is what the Bible calls the system of this age. It is found in places like 1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The word for world there is cosmos and it means "a system." The problem is not that the world (or the system) is evil. Just that the world can cause you to be so busy, that you squeeze out God and place things in the system ahead of God. That's idolatry! The second is the flesh. Not your skin, but the temptations that are inherent to mankind. See Galatians 5:19-21. This is simply  us yielding to something that we know we shouldn’t do; like lie, steal, or cheat. Have you thought about the fact that we don’t have to teach our children to lie? It just comes natural, because we are fleshly. The last cause of sin is the Devil. But mostly he is there to provide us the tools to do what we would naturally do anyway. Like that boy, spitting is our own idea. In actuality, if the Devil disappeared tomorrow you'd keep right on sinning.

How do we get victory? 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” Trust in God. Suite up with the whole armor of God. And tell the Devil to pound sand. You have victory in Jesus.

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