Thursday Theology

The Devil Made Me Do It by Virgil Stripes

James 1:12-15 (ESV)

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

We have all heard, and probably used the phrase; “The Devil made me do it!” at one time or another. I know I have. Granted it was a long time ago, but I did blame him. The truth of the matter, as pointed out here in James, is that our own evil desires take us down a path that if not abandoned, and direction changed, will kill us spiritually, and possibly physically. Many of the maladies we deal with today are problems we have created by our lifestyles.

Let’s be honest here. We sin because we choose to sin. We go against what we know to be right, because we want what we want. We are our own worst enemy. God does not lead us into temptation. Rather, He provides the Holy Spirit to guide us and protect us and strengthen us, if only we listen to Him. Hearing the Spirit is not easy for me. In fact, I am not certain that I have ever heard Him. But I have seen His work in my life, guiding me.

Fortunately, we do not have to stay under the thumb of sin and the devil. God promises that He will provide a way to stop and avoid the evil we allow in our lives. So when problems arise in our lives, we must first look at the source. Did we cause the issue? Is the evil one tempting us? Next we must consider our response. How would God want me to deal with this? Even if I caused the pain and heartache myself, I cannot let it lead me further away from God. I cannot let it make me bitter. I must look to God for His help, and do what would please Him. We must persevere. When we submit ourselves to God, He will help us. It may not always happen immediately. Whatever the season, God will help us in the way He knows is best. Sometimes that means we must suffer for a season.

Prayer: Lord, let me see Your hand in my life. Let me know Your will, and feel / hear Your Holy Spirit guiding me into all righteousness. I know that I can never earn Your love and mercy, but I can show You my gratitude for it by being obedient. Help me Lord, for I am weak. In Jesus’ Name.

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