By Lou Coleman
Did He? Liar! If you are a Christian, Satan has no authority over you. You can’t say, “The devil made you do it.” [1 Cor. 10:13] There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Listen; before I go any further, I want you to know that God has entrusted me with a ministry where there are No Corners-cut, No Pacifying, and No Round about Away. Rebuke- Correction- Hope, in that order exactly!
I tell you, we always want to blame someone else. If you insist that the devil made you do it… What’s the solution? Bind the devil! Cast out the evil spirit! You see the devil’s wiles are easily defeated by knowing and believing the truth of God’s word rightly divided [2 Tim 2:15; 1 Thess 2:13]. Nobody else is responsible for your inward craving other than you… James says you are drawn away “of your own lust”—it is the direct agent. Lust of the flesh—living to please the senses; it feels, looks, tastes or sounds good. Lust of the eyes—living for material things; I want, I must have things in life. Lust of your life—proud of your life which leads to easy offenses, rebellion, etc. The devil does not make you sin! The devil lies, the devil tempts, but sin comes from the lust for it inside of you. Paul says evil is present in him [that is in his flesh] even after his salvation [Romans 7:21]. James, in another dispensation, defines sin as coming from every man’s lust not from God or the devil [James 1:13-15]. You sin because of your lust for it. You have a nature that is sinful. You have a natural taste for it. I tell you, nobody wants to take responsibility for their inappropriate actions. It is human nature to pass on the blame to someone else. But God wants us to go beyond the human, natural thing and become much more supernatural in our life.
Take Responsibility. The power to sin does not come from the devil, but from your old man. When you pass on the responsibility for sin, you pass on the need for the cross of Christ, and become religious in your behavior. Do not blame the devil. The devil did not make you do it. You sinned. Take responsibility for your sin. Tell the truth, you did it because you wanted to do it. That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….
I want you to know that God created and fashioned us in such a way that Satan cannot, in any way, physically force us to do something, nor can he overtake our body and make it act against our will. Satan can only plant thoughts into our minds and try and deceive us. He cannot make us act on those thoughts. It is our choice how we will act on the thoughts and feelings in our minds and hearts. Besides, to give credit to Satan for our actions is to deny the power of God within us to act for ourselves.
So where do we get the strength and power to banish Satan from our minds and hearts? Where can we find protection? How can we stay safe from deception and lies and temptation all around us? We’ve already looked at the most crucial element: knowing God’s Word and hiding it in our heart. The second way to resist temptation is to understand how temptation works. We are tempted when desire and opportunity come together. Think of every time you gave in to a temptation. It always happens at the intersection of desire and opportunity. So when you feel the desire to sin, ask God to remove the opportunity. When you have the opportunity to sin, ask God to take away the desire. Remember, God will always provide a way of escape. Look for it. And remember, Satan can tempt us to sin, but he cannot make us sin. He can goad and press but never force us.