A lot of people like to put blame on others. We don’t like to own up to our mistakes. “Well if she didn’t get in the way, I wouldn’t have had to cuss her out!” We need to understand what kind of power Satan has over us. Are you ready for the answer? It’s…none. The devil has no power over us. The devil did not put a gun to your head and say “Cheat!” “Lie!” “Steal!” He didn’t make us do anything.
The devil will try to tell you that you have no power. Why? Because the devil knows how powerful you are. God’s children are extremely powerful. We can do a lot of stuff. And it all comes down to faith. So, Satan attacks our faith. If he can keep us from realizing our potential, he can better carry out his plans. And please don’t think the devil doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s actually a genius. He studies us and detects our weaknesses and knows when to strike when we expose our soft side. We must always be careful and ready for his attack. The devil has always talked to us. Always trying to tempt us into doing things. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being tempted. Jesus was tempted at least three times. What Jesus judges is our actions. Did we carry out that temptation? We looked at that piece of candy and thought about stealing it. But that doesn’t get God angry. He’s waiting to see what you DO. If you walk away from the candy or buy it, God is pleased. If you do steal it, God is not pleased. Simple as that.
And so, if you steal the candy and get caught, you just cannot say, “The devil made me do it!” God’s certainly not going to take that sorry excuse. The devil…all he did was talk. But you have power over the situation. “Get away from me Satan!” That’s what Jesus said to him. Look, it’s easy to be talked into doing things, depending on what you believe in. If you think you can steal it and not get caught, you’re more likely to steal. Sometimes, he’ll use your weak mental state against you. Maybe you’re really hungry and don’t want to pay or have no money for candy. And so the devil will tell you what you want to hear. “You’ll die if you don’t take that candy. It’s more of a crime for you to die than if you take the candy. It’s just a onetime thing.”
Whoa. Onetime thing? That’s one of the devil’s favorite lines to use. Go ahead and take a drink, just one. Just to see how it is. Smoke that pot. Just one time. But drugs and alcohol are very addicting, especially if you don’t think it can happen to you. All it takes is one and you’re at a risk of getting hooked and ruining your life. If you’ve always been a ladies’ man, the devil will most likely attack you to commit adultery. He’ll tell you things like, “Nobody’s gonna know.” Or “You’ll never see her again. One and done.” That’s all the devil needs. Just open the door a crack and it’s over. You know how people say that serial killers always start off by accident? It’s kind of like that. The first time you do a sin, you don’t really mean to. Your defense for that situation is rather weak because you were not exposed to it that much. It’s like chicken pox. You get it once but your body now knows what to do to prevent it from happening again. It builds up its immunity so that next time chicken pox wants to show up, your body is better prepared for it.
He looks for a characteristic we show that could get us in trouble, and then he strikes at the right moment. But we’re not alone people. We have Jesus on our side to resist the urge to do wrong things. All we have to do is call on his name and we’ll be saved.
But we also need to set ourselves up for success. We must avoid the appearance of evil. We can’t put ourselves in a situation where the devil can tempt you. The devil has less success trying to tell you to get wasted if you’re in church compared to if you were in a club or bar. Satan can’t get through to someone easily to watch porn if you’re watching some kind of Christian movie or something like that.
But I cannot say the devil will never be able to tempt you. I say “less success” and “can’t get through easily” because we are all subject to being tempted to do anything. No one can escape the thoughts that come by. We can resist carrying out the thoughts. And that’s why God doesn’t judge on your thinking. God waits for the decision. And to generalize this, God judges us by what we can control. We can’t stop all bad things from happening. God knows this, and because He’s a just and fair God, only looks at what we could control.