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THAT OLE DEVIL




Nothing more brings delight to the heart of the devil than when you give in to sin. However, let us never forget that devil cannot force us to do anything against our will. In fact, he is limited in what he can do, as Paul said:


1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.


Paul tells us that the temptations we will face are common to man, and there is always an escape route, which means we can never claim that the devil made us do it. All we can claim is that we choose to do it. John gives us a general idea of what the devil has to work with:


1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world.


Though the devil’s power is limited, and his reach is confined to what is common to man, never underestimate the devil’s craftiness.


2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.


The ole devil is not dumb; he knows the best things to say and do to tempt even the strongest Christian. He is not afraid to come after you because he came after Jesus.


Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ “7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ “8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ “Luke 4:13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

If he had no problem coming after Jesus, do you think he will not come after you? Did you notice that even though he failed, Luke says he would look for more opportunities to come after Jesus? The devil is relentless and will continue to come at you when you are at your weakest. He did this with Peter, and Jesus told him about it before it happened.


Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.


He was referring to how Peter would deny Him three times. The devil used this situation to his advantage and tempted Peter to turn his back on Jesus for a time, but it did not last just as Jesus prayed. Had Peter continued to take the devil’s bait, he may have gone the way of Judas.


Here is what we need to understand. While the ole devil is good at what he does, we must remember how weak he is compared to God. We must never forget that we always have a choice. Paul gives us this advice:


1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith…


James says:


James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.


When we live for God, we can resist the devil, and he must flee. However, if we don’t resist the devil, we give him a place in our lives. As a Christian, I hope you never forget that God is on your side and that the ole devil cannot overpower you unless you let him. So, I hope you continue to fight the good fight of faith so that heaven will be your home.

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