Week 10: The devil made me do it!

devil made me do it

As a child, I had a very active and vivid imagination.  So vivid and active that I had an imaginary playmate named Jenny that I was convinced was real.  I was the youngest child in my family, the youngest grandchild to my maternal grandparents and, until I was about five, the youngest grandchild of my fraternal grandparents.  As the youngest on all fronts, often the older kids were off doing their own thing or either didn’t want the baby tagging along.  To amuse myself, I created Jenny.

Sometimes Jenny was really nice.  But other times she would make me do things I didn’t want to do, such as deny breaking something or sticking out my tongue in anger (believe me, that only happened once!).  When caught, I was always quick to say, “Jenny made me do it!”  Sometimes I was a little afraid of her; she would boldly go where I wouldn’t and eagerly do things I was afraid to.  I always had a scapegoat and could blame Jenny for the temptations I gave in to.

I also had a purple monster that lived in my bedroom closet, but he was sweet and protective, only came out at night and only I could see him.  I won’t even try to analyze that one – I’ll only say my weirdness began at a very early age!

As adults, we don’t have a Jenny to fall back on for giving in to temptations, but we do have others things to blame it on – peer pressure, stressful situations and the old standby of “the devil made me do it!” to name a few.  Now we know that no one, not even the devil, can force us to do anything.  He can, however, wear you down so that you snap at someone you love, pass on gossip, watch pornography, go on an eating or drinking binge or give in to laziness.  He not only wants to weaken your witness, he wants to take you down.

When you make the commitment to begin a healthy lifestyle both spiritually and physically, the devil is going to try his best to convince you that you can’t do it.  His most powerful weapon is to get inside your head and control your mind, lower your self-esteem and self-confidence.  He and his armies are experts at this, they have had centuries of honing these particular skills and will use any means necessary to get you to doubt yourself.

It begins as negative thoughts in your head that won’t go away.  The discouraging thoughts continue to whisper and get louder and louder until you begin to believe them.  Then the voices go a bit further and say, “I told you that you couldn’t do it.  You can’t succeed.  You’re nobody special.  What makes you think you can change now?  What makes you think this time is going to be different?”

In other words, our battle isn’t with food, exercise, alcohol, drugs, sex, you name it.  Our battle begins in our minds and the thoughts that drive our decisions and keep us from making healthy choices.

Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel (I know, you’re saying whew, finally!).  You don’t have to battle on the devil and his armies on your own!  Jesus has already come to earth to destroy evil for you; the war has already been done!  1 John 3: 8 tells us “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

The devil is still in operation, but he has already been defeated and in Christ we can escape his plans for our ruination.  The secret to escape from satan’s plan to ruin you is to realize that if you try to do it on your own you will lose; you need the help that can only come from surrendering negativity to God.  Matthew 6:13 reads:

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

God knows what we need before we ask Him.  Even though we ask Him to not be led into temptation, the times that we are He will always provide a way of escape; we’ll always be given an out.  When you hear the negative thoughts in your head, immediately know where they are coming from and do not let them take control.  Know that any negativity is not from God and banish them in the name of Jesus.

If you want to change so that you can have a life that is strong both physically and spiritually and have a full, complete unified walk with God by taking care of His temple, you cannot do it on your own.  If you have negative thoughts and have come to believe them, take them to God.  Believe that if you allow Him to walk beside you and have control on your journey to a healthy lifestyle you will succeed.  Never forget that Jesus came to this earth by choice and died for you, defeated satan for you on the cross and rose three days later.  There is no defeat and you don’t have to fight this alone.  If you still have self-doubts, remember this – the power that raised a dead Jesus from that cold stone slab in a pitch-black, sealed tomb is the very same power that, as a Christian, lives in you!  The very same power!

There is a contemporary Christian song by Jeremy Camp titled “Same Power” based on Romans 8:11.  Jeremy was inspired to write this song because of his experience at a major public Christian event in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, a country where opening sharing about Jesus will in the least result in being beaten and maybe even arrested or killed.  You can read Jeremy’s story as well as listen to the song by clicking the links below.

Never forget that, as a Christian, you have His power and there is no defeat!

‘Same Power’–The Story Behind The Song!

 

Scripture:

Ephesians 6:10-12:  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

 

Prayer:

Father God, I know that I am your child and that you created me out of love.  Right here and now I give You the negative thoughts and lies that the devil wants me to believe.  Thank You that, in the name of Jesus, You will give me renewed strength to overcome any negativity in my life.  I know that it is not by my own strength but Your power and Your power only that this is possible.  Fill me with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work a miracle in me today.  I thank you for Your love, Your grace and Your unending mercy.  I love You, Jesus!  Amen.

toby peeking tempted

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