Have you heard people say, “The devil made me do it?”
Well, here's the fact. That statement is a LIE. The devil can’t make you do anything if you're a Christian because you have the power of Jesus Christ and the Word of God to help you do right when you’re tempted.
Every Christian WILL be tempted to sin in three major areas: (1) physical pleasures; (2) earthly possessions; and (3) the pride of power or position. But like Jesus, we can be ready to withstand the devil’s temptations.
It won't be easy, at first. We can crave physical pleasures, illicit sex, alcohol, excess food, and more. We can be so attracted to “stuff” that we go into enormous debt, even steal and cheat, to get what we want. The lust for power and position at work, even at church, can drive us to do things we never thought we could.
But we must get ready, spiritually, before temptation comes. We do this, first, by staying filled with God’s Spirit (4:1). When we're born again, we receive God’s Spirit and are “sealed” with Him. But to stay filled (or controlled by God), we must take action continually by praising Him, thanking Him, listening for His voice, and submitting to His will. We must do what's necessary, moment by moment, to yield ourselves to Him.
Second, we have to know the Word of God and speak it boldly in times of temptation. God’s Word is our sword and strongest weapon. If we study, memorize, and know it, we can use it to resist the devil, and he will flee from us.
Like our Lord Jesus, we don’t have to give in to temptation. When the devil (and our own desires) launch an all–out assault on our weaknesses, WE CAN STAND by being filled with praise and submission to God, and by wielding His Word at our enemy.
The devil couldn’t make Jesus sin, and he can’t make us sin, either. So let’s get ready now, and plan to walk in victory.