The Devil Made Me Do It

I have heard many people, especially Christians, use this excuse to justify their sin. Or, at least some variation of it. It’s an excuse that has been used since the Garden of Eden. The excuse I am takling about is the urge to blame Satan for a choice WE ourselves chose to make. Rather than being mature soldiers of God who confess and correct these behaviors, we minimize the seriousness of immorality in the eyes of a holy God.

To be clear, I wholeheartedly believe that it is possible for each of us to be under attack by Satan, nonetheless being tempting by him. I legimately believe there are many Christians who are experiencing such attacks during a time where the world is being tested by the fire of Covid. However, let us be clear on the limitations Satan has over mankind.

The primary reason for using this ancient excuse to justify sin is to escape responsibility and avoid the painful process of being held accountable for our sin. We don’t like the feeling of being pulled by our moral conscience. We don’t like to feel the tug in our hearts calling us to change and repent. There is a lack of comfort that comes with being disciplined. So, our first step in escaping: sprinkle in something that sounds Christian to cover up the mess we made.

Let’s take a look at the conversation that unfolded between God, Adam, and Eve. After Satan tempted Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the tree (which God instructed them not to do), they disobey the instruction. Eve then shares the fruit with Adam. After noticing that they were naked in their place of hiding, God attempts to confront them for what they did. First, Adam blames Eve for committing the sin, since she gave him the fruit. Then, when God confronts Eve, she blames Satan for committing the sin.

So, what are some key takeaways from the story of the fall of mankind that we can apply when we sin against God? I would like to show you four often-ignored key considerations that will cause us to switch the blame to the source of the temptation rather than the one who gave in.

1. God gives us the freedom to make choices. God doesn’t force us to do what is moral. He commands us to do so, but He also gives us the freedom to do otherwise. That does not mean it is right. However, God allows us to choose whether or not we will take the initiative to make sound, Biblical decisions. This ultimately leads me to my second point.

2. You are Not Immune From Temptation. As long as you are living on this Earth, you WILL be tempted. Satan will use your weak areas as well as your fleshly passions to entice you. Be forewarned: He may sprinkle in some Scripture and churchy language to get you to commit sin. You may be standing firm and high right now. You may not have gone to the nightclub in a year. But, do not let your guard down. Satan knows what used to hype you up. He knows how much you used to love those drinks you took at 3 in the morning. He remembers every instance where you smoked weed with your boyfriend.

If he can’t get you back into the old habit you were set free from, he will bring back memories of your dark past and accuse you to your face. Even well-respected people who know about your past will use it against you in some form.

3. Satan has Limitations. I have heard many Christians testify of their experiences with evil spirits in their past that used to entice them to do wicked things that they would regret. They have a wholehearted intent at repenting and making things right, but it’s like they are in a continual state of condemnation that can only be explained from a spiritual perspective. There are legimate instances where such things occur. However, it is essential we distinguish common moral failures from Satanic attacks. Sometimes, it is hard to distuingish the two until we thorouly investigate the matter. Sometimes, it is a matter that will be addressed when we get to Heaven, due to human limitations.

4. The Choice Is Up To YOU. Essentially, temptation is a TEST of our ability to make sound and moral decisions based on Biblical principles and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

A key test-taking strategy you were taught back when you were in school is the process of elimination. If I give you a test question asking you to find two solutions to an equation, you would know right away that you are searching for two answers. There are some choices on the test that sound correct, but may not make sense in the context of the problem given. Ultimately, whichever choice you pick on the test question determines whether or not you receive the credit awarded for that question.

God offers us two choices. Choice A is to follow Jesus and abide by the Holy Spirit’s leading. Choice B is to forsake God and sell our souls to Satan for a chance to possess all of the material things of the world that are nothing but useless junk. Some of us will choose Jesus. Sadly, a majority of this world will choose Satan’s prestigious title of fame and glamor. When the time comes, we will receive the reward (or punishment) of our choice. Always consider this principle when you are tempted to do the wrong thing.

In a future presentation, I would like to share with you 4 essentials to consider to resist common temptations all of us will experience as we grow in our walk with Jesus. This model is what I call the four R’s: Recognize, Remember, Resist, and Remain Vigiliant.

Closing Prayer

Lord, keep us from making excuses for the sake of disobedience and spiritual death. Help us remember that all of humanity is invited to feast at your table, especially those we would name as enemies. Amen.

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