It’s easy to blame things on the Devil. After all, he’s the Christian’s biggest enemy. Keep in mind, however, that not every bad thing you do is the devil’s fault. We also have an enemy in our own flesh. Here are some things to remember the next time you think, “the Devil made me do it.”
The Devil Made Me Do It
The Flesh vs. the Devil
The Bible makes it clear that we are inherently sinful (Romans 5:12; Romans 7:21; Gal. 5:19). For that reason, blaming our sinfulness on the devil is not always the most accurate or helpful thing. We need to own up to our own guilt.
Believers are able to resist the devil (James 4:7). It is true that the Devil or his minions wage war on our souls. However, as redeemed children of God, Christians are able to oppose his advances. In fact, the Bible tells us that “he will flee from you” as you submit to God, and resist the the devil. There are no tricks or gimmicks about it. The Bible is clear: 2) Don’t give him a foothold (Ephesians 4:27), and 2) Resist him (1 Peter 5:8).
War Is Real
Spiritual warfare is very real. Demonic oppression is not to be disregarded. At the same time, we must recognize that we have the tugs and pulls of the flesh that try to drag us back into sin.
Some tend to see a demon behind every bush. Others tend to disregard demonic activity altogether. The truth is, we should “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10). “Cosmic powers…present darkness…spiritual forces of evil”—they are all real (Ephesians 6:12-13). They are ever present. They are dangerous. They are to be taken seriously.
Sin and Victory
Even though the prospect of owning up to your own inherent sinfulness sounds discouraging, it’s actually the road to victory.
Take the “devil made me do it” option. If you’re constantly blaming your sin on someone or something else other than yourself, you’ll simply wallow in the mire of defeat. You consider yourself helpless to outside influences that make you sin. “Aw, the devil made me do it again!” You don’t have to live like that. You’re not defeated by the devil. Jesus already defeated him.
Consider your sin in another light: “Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2). Death and sin are defeated enemies. Done for. Yes, the vestiges of sin remain within us, and we must continually fight sin. Ultimately, however, Jesus stands in victory over sin and death.
This is liberating news. “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us” (Romans 8:31)? No one can. Not even the devil.
“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37)