Flip Wilson used to portray a TV character who would say “The devil made me do it” every time he (or she sometimes) did something wrong. It became a popular catch phrase imitated in commercials and in everyday life.
For a Christian, such a statement would be Biblically incorrect. The devil cannot make us do anything against our own will. He tempts us with evil, but it still our choice to do it or not.
A statement I hear frequently today from some Christians is that the devil caused this or that to happen. Looking at what the Bible says about the devil, that may or may not always be the case. It is true that as believers in Jesus Christ, we have an enemy who works against us and we are cautioned to be on guard against him. But we are also given weapons to use and instructions concerning him.
“In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].
“Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
“For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.” Ephesians 6:10-12 (Amplified Bible)
When I hear Christians give the devil credit for every bad or unpleasant thing that happens to them, I have to wonder why. The Bible says we are to put on the “God’s whole armor” and when we do, we are able to withstand any attacks of the enemy.
God’s Word is greater than any evil spirit or demon. The Blood of Jesus is greater than all the powers of darkness combined. They tremble and flee at the very Name of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and He gives us direction. And as if that weren’t enough, God’s holy angels have been charged to assist us.
“Are not the angels all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:14 (The Amplified Bible)
What I have observed is that usually what people give the devil credit for are things that are the consequences of their own bad choices or the results of the actions of someone else. If I speed on the freeway because I was late leaving for an appointment, and I get stopped by a police officer, it won’t be the devil writing the ticket! It will be the consequences of my actions.
Sometimes bad things happen because we live in a fallen world. Sin abounds in the world; it’s not necessarily a personal attack against us from the devil. I’ve decided that whatever comes my way, I will not give the enemy any credit, not for anything. Even when I know it is him attacking, I will not give him credit for hurting me. In Jesus Christ I am more than a conqueror. God orders my steps and He guides my life. God is my provider and my protector. When problems arise, I will seek my Father’s face. I will search His Word. I will call on His Name. And I will be vigilant.
“Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
“Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset–rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.”
I Peter 5:8, 9 (Amplified Bible)
Peace and blessings in Our Lord Jesus Christ.