The Devil Made Me Do It?

James 1:14
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

My favorite rock band is Dream Theater. Recently they released a song where the lyrics went, “I’m runing from the enemy inside.” When I told people that I could really relate to the song, they thought I was mental. What it really means is that I run away from temptation all of ther time.

Joyce Meyers asks: We all face temptation, it’s an unavoidable part of life. The question is not, “Will you be tempted?” The question is, “When you’re tempted, will you be ready?”

“In your own strength and by your own ability, you’re right. You can’t. But when you put God’s Word in your heart, when you lean on His strength and trust in His promises, there’s no temptation you can’t overcome.”

What I’ve learned from reading scripture, books and daily devotionals is that blaming temptation on the devil is a cop out. (You know, the devil made me do it.) Yes, the devil is real and evil. But, per James 1:14, temptation resides in each one of us and it is our individual selves’ responsibilties to address and then conquer that temptation. It is not a sin to be tempted but it becomes a sin when we give in to temptation.

For example, if I were to notice an attractive woman and think “no big deal…just another woman” I have defeated temptation. However, if I were to look back at her and ogle, for example, I have caved in to sin. Take traffic. Like most I’d get upset with tailgaters and rude drivers. My problem was that I had to make a sign (not a peace sign), wave them over so I could confront them, and provoke a fight once we got out of our cars. Stupid right? I caved into sin after being tempted to do something idiotic.

It’s hard, no question. But I found that doing what I’ve been doing for the past 5 years has helped tremendously. Of course, when you add prayer to the equation, temptation becomes beatable in itself.

Pray for God’s grace.

I can’t do this alone. God wants to accept my yoke and carry me. It’s by His grace that helps me defeat temptation.

James 1:2
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

I kn ow that temptation is there all day long. Again, I can’t do it without God. The feeling is wonderful.

God Bless you and peace to you!