Did The Devil Do It?
Posted On July 31, 2003
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. – James 1:13-15.
Route 666 in New Mexico, also known by local residents as the “Highway to Hell” or “Satan’s Highway”, has been renamed Route 491. The highway has had a very high rate of fatalities in comparison to other highways in New Mexico. Governor Bill Richardson said at the dedication, “After 77 years of concern and discontent we have finally removed any reference to the devil from this highway.” After news of the renaming had been released, most of the Highway 666 signs were stolen. Even though it was the Devil’s highway, authorities are not blaming the devil, but are looking for thieves who wanted souvenirs.
We do have a tendency to blame others for our sin. Some even blame God. James, makes this clear, in that God does not ever tempt anyone to do evil. God will try us, but He does not tempt us to do evil. Of course, many blame the devil. Flip Wilson made the statement “the devil made me do it” famous, although it had been in use for hundreds of years. We always want to blame someone or something besides ourselves for our sin.
What is it that causes us to sin? It is something in us, our own desires, and lusts that bring about our sin. 1 John 2:16 further define those desires, “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.” It is our own lust, which draws us into sin. It is what feels, looks and sounds good – the lust of the flesh. It is the wanting of material things – the lust of the eyes. It is the pride of life, which leads to being easily offended and rebellion.
Lust brings about the opposite of life, it brings about death. It usually does not happen quickly, but death does come. “When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
It is helpful, when fighting temptation, to recognize that our own desires must be changed. As we grow closer to our Lord, we will have more and more of a desire for what will bring life instead of death. The more that we resist the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, the more life we will have. The closer we become to our Lord, the more we will be able to resist those evil desires.
Make it a goal of every day, to grow a little closer to the Lord, than you were the day before.
(What is it that causes us to sin?)