Comedian Flip Wilson in the 1970’s popularized the phrase “The devil made me do it.” Although he used this phrase to garner laughter, perhaps it really should instill in us the necessity to be prepared to go to battle. We fare spiritual warfare daily.
Is the devil real, yes he is? Does he really impact our life, yes he does. Can the devil actually make us do something wrong, no he cannot because we always have free will? But we all know his deceptive lies can cause us to exercise our free will in the wrong direction.
It has long been known by tactical war planners that the first principal in successful war preparation is to define your enemy. The Bible is explicit about who our enemy is. The Bible makes it clear that the devil is powerful and real. A thorough read of the New Testament makes known to us that Satan is desperate to keep us from the salvation afforded to us through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Paul had this to say:
“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens”
“But I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members”
I have read that there are 4 stages of Spiritual Warfare, Temptation, Demonic Oppression, Demonic Obsession and Possession. Temptation is the most common and the later three are the most serious with Possession being the worst. Space does not allow me to address each of these, so today I want to dig deeper into the battle we face each day with temptations.
Temptation can come from three sources; it can come from our own broken nature, from the broken world and from the devil. My focus today is the work of the devil and the reality that this spiritual warfare must be taken seriously.
Most all of us will face some type of spiritual attack or temptation every day. These attacks often present themselves in the smallest mundane things in life. Added together these small attacks can develop into a detrimental challenge to our faith.
In conclusion, Flip Wilson got it slightly wrong when he said “the devil made me do it.” The devil cannot force us to do anything but he certainly can be the underlying cause that leads us to do the wrong thing. I will close today by asking you this question. What ways do you put on the armor of Christ each morning to protect yourself against this cunning adversary of your soul?
Heavenly Father I ask you to give me the strength and protection I need each day to prevail against the evil forces of Satan. Keep me always in your care. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, amen.