The Devil Made Me Do It

The Devil Made Me Do It
The Devil Made Me Do It

The Devil Made Me Do It.

Don’t you wish we could blame all of our shortcomings on him?Instead of acknowledging our sin, asking forgiveness and pursuing spiritual growth, we could just make excuses and justify our behavior by saying, “the devil made me do it”.Misplaced blame is a great way to escape the burden of our sins. It offers us the easy way out.You know…it’s the path of least resistance.But…hang on a minute.If we choose this state of denial, what is the bottom line result for us?

Many years ago – at least 30 or more – there was a comedian named Flip Wilson.One of the characters he portrayed was a woman in a tight mini-skirt, named Geraldine.Anytime she did something questionable she would say, “The devil made me do it.”The show soon became a big hit – offering comedic relief.We love to laugh, don’t we?The phrase became infectious and was soon a national catchphrase.We still hear it today.It is still being printed on t-shirts.Why do we think that is so funny?Could it be we can relate to the need to place blame?Is it just too hard for us to accept responsibility for our thoughts and our actions?Or maybe we just prefer to not even think about it.

But…we all agreed already that we desire to live an abundant life.Remember?That is why I write and why you are reading this.So, again I ask – what is the bottom line result for us?If we just shirk responsibility and declare, “the devil made me do it”, what will happen?Way back in Genesis 3:13 we see the very first time someone blamed Satan.Remember?After Adam and Eve ate the apple, God called out to them.When God asked Eve, “What is this you have done?”She replied the devil made me do it!Oh, not really.I am just kidding.She said basically the same thing though, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.” Wow!“The serpent deceived me.”When we say it like that, it isn’t so funny is it? It becomes even more serious when we read our theme verse - John 10:10.Jesus himself said,

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

So, when we say, “the devil made me do it”, we are saying “I am deceived and allowing Satan to steal my peace, to kill my joy and to destroy my testimony.”Who’s laughing now?Well, not us – right?The reality is that we may be deceived and tempted by Satan much more than we even realize and therefore may not be living the abundant life God has for us.

Have you ever stopped to think about what Satan has to do to throw us off our game?Do you think that he would have to cause us to do something really bad?We don’t have to look like him or become evil for him to draw us his way.No, all he has to do is puff up our pride; or repel us from repentance; or overcome us with a desire to have our own way.Ouch!Our pride, our lack of responsibility and our desire to have life go our way are due to us resisting God in our lives.It is complete and total deception on Satan’s part.We want to blame him and he wants to blame us.He response probably goes like this, “What? Don’t look at me. You did this.”He is the champion of deception.So, what are we to do?This has gone from funny to tragic in 60 seconds flat.We need some good news, don’t we?

Well, let’s focus on the second half of John 10:10 above.Jesus said that He came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly.We are to be Christ like.We are to take on his attributes.We are to be like him and not like the world – casting blame, shirking responsibility and living in denial.So what are we to do?James 4:7-8 offers us the best advice.It says…

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.Cleanse your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

Yes!Here is our answer.We are to submit to God and draw near to Him.We should submit to Him by abandoning our own selfish pride.We must accept responsibility for our sin and truly repent.Repent is an action word.It means we feel regret and remorse, we ask for forgiveness and then we turn away from that action.We have to lay ourselves down.We can no longer desire our way, but we must desire for God to have His way in us.We should pick up and put on the full armor of God. This means we place our faith in Him.We immerse ourselves in His truth (not the world’s or Satan’s) by reading and studying and knowing God’s word.We resist all of the temptation the Devil throws our way. We wash our hands of him and his impurities.We purify our hearts by loving God’s word, committing it to memory and living it out in our daily lives.We choose to no longer be double minded – trying to please the world and our Lord.Instead we need to become focused – single minded focus - on seeking Him first, seeking Him above all things.

Can we do it?Yes, we can in His strength with His help.It must be a choice we make over and over and over again.No more saying, “The devil made me do it.”That keeps us stuck in our shame and regret.Instead, let’s embrace forgiveness and say, “I choose to submit to God. I am His and He is mine.”Let’s live the good life – full of peace and full of joy and overflowing with purpose.

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