Monday, September 13, 2010

The Devil Made Me Do It

In Sunday School this last Sunday morning one of the gentleman in our class make a comment that I found very profound. I don't know if he really understood how deep and profound it was. He said, "Don't give the devil too much credit". It made me think. How many times do we blame the devil for the bad things we do. "The devil made me do it." we say. Passing the blame for our sinful nature to the father of lies.

Is it really the devils fault? Who committed the sin in the first place?

The devil is glad when we sin, sin causes a separation between us and God. I think that even uttering the phrase "the devil made me do it" makes the devil feel proud. His main goal is to keep sinners from the forgiveness and grace of God. His main goal is to keep Christians in their past sins, reminding them that they are not good enough for his love and attention.

When we do sin what is our natural reaction? Our pastor spoke of this a couple of weeks ago. We feel ashamed and hide, and then we look to someone else to take the blame. Just as Adam and Eve blamed someone else for their actions? Eve, the originator of this pass the buck comment, blamed the devil. Adam blamed Eve and even blamed God for putting Eve with him.

I am going to go one step further. The devil has no power over us that the Lord did not give him. So to suggest that he caused us to do something is giving him way to much credit. We are essentially saying that the devil came into our physical bodies, possessed us and caused us to sin and then immediately left our bodies. How ridiculous is that.

We sin of our own will. We give in to our temptations. It is in our human nature. The devil may tempt us. He may lie to us and get us to believe that its okay to sin, but he does not cause us to sin. That is completely on you and me. We shouldn't blame the devil for our sin, its not his fault. Some go to the extent to even blame God for the temptations we face. (e.g. Adams response to his sin)

James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full‑grown, gives birth to death.

It is our own evil desires. Not the devil, not God, not the woman you put here with me, not your friends, not your parents, not your children...OUR own evil desires. We are born into a sinful world. And we have sinned, we sin , and be sure we will sin again. Again, its in our human nature.

So what are we to do about it? Give up and give in? Throw our hands in the air and surrender to our sinful nature? Before you answer, look at this:

1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Did you catch that?

NO temptation except what is common to man. What you and I go through is common. Everyone out there goes through sin. There are others out there facing the same temptations you are. And better still, GOD IS FAITHFUL!! He only allows as much as you can handle. No matter what the sin or the temptation to sin you are facing, our evil desires are great, but God is greater. If we could not bear it, then God would not allow the temptation to be put in our way.

Job 11:12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord .


Job 2:4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

The power that Satan had was given to him by God, and he was given limits on what he could do. God did not cause the temptation on Job, he allowed it. He knew that Job could stand up under it. And he did. He lost everything, and did not blame God once. He had friends on every side trying to convince him to curse God and die.

Jobs response was an emphatic:

“Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”

More over, God will provide a way out of our temptation. He knows how much we can handle. Even when we are at wits end and feel overwhelmed, its not too much for us to bear. Whatever our sin may be. That little hint or reminder that you get, or that small obstacle in your way from getting to that sin, is placed there by God to give us that way out. We need to recognize that way and take it. Stop placing the blame, when we give in to sin, on the devil. The devil did not make you do it. He couldn't make you do it even if he wanted to. God would not allow it.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double‑minded.9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

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