"The Devil Made Me Do It"
I can still remember hearing my parents laugh as they watched Geraldine on the Flip Wilson television show. "Flip Wilson was a funny comedian and actor in the late 60's and 70's. Geraldine Jones was a sassy liberated Southern black woman who wore tight and revealing clothes and was flirty, yet faithful to her boyfriend, 'Killer'. She was not real smart but she was overly confident. She coined the phrases, 'When you’re hot, you’re hot; when you’re not, you’re not', 'The Devil made me do it' and 'What you see is what you get'.
When thinking of, "the devil made me do it, our first thought is of Adam and Eve who right from the get-go, in the garden of Eden, blamed others. Genesis 3: 11-13, "And he said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?' The man said, 'The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.' Then the Lord God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?' The woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate.'” Did you catch Adam blaming God? "The woman YOU put here with me." That is the blame game and it has been around ever since.
Temptations are a part of our life. Temptations do not come from God. James 1: 13-15, "When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." Temptations test us to try to make us fail and God only wants good for us. Jeremiah 29: 11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Jesus was tempted. Temptation is not a sin. Jesus was tempted but never sinned. Hebrews 4: 15, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin." When we give into temptation then it is a sin. James 1: 14-15, "but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
Satan can tempt us but he cannot force us to sin. He can put a whole lot of pressure on us but he cannot make us do anything. We can resist him. God always gives us a way out! 1 Corinthians 10: 13, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
When Satan tried to tempt Jesus, Jesus knew what to do. Matthew 4: 2-3, "After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, 'If you are the Son of God,tell these stones to become bread.'” He relied on the Holy Spirit. He fasted and prayed. He resisted evil and quoted Scripture in those moments. Matthew 4: 4, "Jesus answered, 'It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Finally Satan gave up.
We were Luke 11: 1-4, "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.' He said to them, 'When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation." What a great way to start each day! We need God's help! We need to rely on the Holy Spirit! God has given us the Holy Spirit and His Word to help us resist evil. When we do fail we must take responsibility. The devil did not make us do it!