Consider these. A man is arrested for armed robbery and then interrogated. He is asked why he went into robbery and he responds : “it is the devil’s work.”
A happily married man soon starts to date another woman outside. The woman eventually gets pregnant and the once happy family is thrown into sorrow. When asked why he went into adultery, in tears, he says “it’s the work of the devil.”
Another woman who is also happily married, is caught, by the husband, making love with his brother. The two of them push the blame on the “devil.”
A young, very responsible, and promising girl suddenly took ill. A test is ran on her and it is discovered that she
was two months pregnant. “Why did you do this to me?!” the mother yelled. “Am sorry mummy. It’s the work of the devil.”
A medical student, who was seen as “The best surgeon in the making” was caught by the mother sniffing cocaine in his room. A search in his room revealed that he had a gun cleverly concealed in his boot. He later confessed to have joined a secret cult back in school. When asked why he was into drugs and cultism, he said it was the “work of the devil”
A powerful pastor brings his world crumbling upon him when he impregnated a 16 year old. He, too, blamed it on the devil.
It’s usually funny when I hear or read such responses. In fact, it’s so easy to predict cos they are very common. A few questions here : Do we have choices when that inner voice of temptation speaks to us ? The answer is “YES.” Would we be beaten or killed if we say “No” to that devilish inner voice? The answer is “NO.” Can the devil speak or act through someone rather than come as an inner voice? The obvious answer is “YES.” Can we resist the devil in whatever form it comes? The answer is “YES.” Is tepmptation normal? The obvious answer is “YES.”
Temptation is normal and comes every now and then. No one is above it. If our Lord Jesus can be tempted, then who are we? Matt 4:1 has it that: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” However, unlike human beings, our Lord did not allow the “sweet tongue” of the devil to make Him fall for its temptation. “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”(Matt 4:11).
In resisting the devil, our Lord used the scriptures to fight the temptation. One of such words of God was : “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”-(Matt 4:10). That’s a big lesson for us christians. The word of God is also a weapon of war !!!
So, it follows that we fall for temptation when we submit ourselves to the “offer” made by the devil, in whatever form it comes. You will notice that for every temptation that comes our way, there is always this good thing or picture that the devil puts before us – something to lure us into falling for the “plot.” It could be wealth; it could be the “enjoyment” derived from sex; it could be power or fame; promotion in the office; or it could be good grades in school… name it – the list is endless. For our Lord, the devil “taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Woww ! This is really tempting. But hey !! Did you think the devil would have kept its promise? Never ! The devil is a master of deceiver !!! How many people has the devil successfully tempted and “blessed” without spicing up the blessing with sorrow and unpalatable conditions???
What the devil always does is to hide the consequences of its offer. It hides the full picture of its “offer,” and instead gives us good reasons why we must accept the “offer.”
Remember the devil’s “sweet words” to Eve : “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil”-(Gen 3:4-5).
But because Eve did not see the devil as a master deceiver and because the devil gave “good” reasons why she must fall, she “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat – (Gen 3:6).
And just like we do today “the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” – (Gen 3:13). As it usually does, the devil did not tell Eve of the impending danger that will befall her and generations unborn, for flouting the orders of God at the garden of Eden. Sadly, you and I and every human being is “enjoying” the outcome of Eve’s inability to say “NO!!!” To the devil.
However, our Lord has already taught us what to do when temptation comes : “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”- (James 4:7-8)
God bless us all.