Years ago a popular television show had a comedy character by the name of “Geraldine” that used
the line: “the devil made me do it!” anytime she did something she knew was wrong. Those situation
comedies were funny to us and made us laugh. However, it is not so funny when Christians try to use
the same line concerning their own moral failures.
I have always advocated that having a sound understanding about our adversary – Satan – is very
important to every Christian. The truth is this: To understand one’s enemy is to be positioned to
defeat him. The fact of the matter is Satan has already been defeated by our Champion, whose name is
Jesus. (Hebrews 2:14) What is left for you and me to do is to enforce the victory that Jesus won at
Calvary. We do this through the divine authority given to us by God, which is carried out in the
powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord. That is why James tells us that when we resist the devil he
flees. (James 4:7)
Temptation to sin is faced by everyone, even born again Christians. Your new birth in Christ Jesus
and your blessed entry into salvation did not insulate you from evil. Each day you face opportunities to
sin, don’t you? Those temptations seem to be all around you, but here is the good news Jesus gives
to you: God always makes the way of escape for you! (I Corinthians 10:13)
Do you see from this verse that you can never really blame your sinning on the devil? Of course you
know that he is involved in presenting the opportunity to sin to you, but the truth is your flesh is the
real enemy here. Read James 1:14-15 to understand how this works. The conclusion is simple: if you
can figure out how to keep your flesh in check, then you can keep from sinning. The Word of God
actually tells you how you can do that very thing. Read what the apostle Paul writes in Galatians 5:16.
There is your key to living a life that is victorious over sinning; the key is walking in the Spirit.
To walk in the Spirit is a theological-sounding phrase, so let’s discuss what it means. Look at the life
of Jesus and from His example you can understand what it means to walk in the Spirit. First of all,
Jesus never did anything on His own initiative. For you that translates into simply obeying the Word of
God. The Bible is your handbook for living, and when you live by what it says you overcome all
temptations because of its power working in you. Secondly, Jesus was constantly led by the Holy Spirit
that indwelt Him. You have the very same privilege because the Spirit of God lives within you. The
Bible tells you He always leads you into all truth and that equates to a life of freedom in Christ Jesus.
To sum this up, the phrase “walk in the Spirit” relates to hearing and obeying the voice of God. You
hear it through His written Word as well as through the inner voice of His Spirit. 24/7 He is your Helper
and He is constantly showing you the way of escape from sin. He may lead you around the temptation
or you He will give your victory through it. In any case, you win!
Don’t be like Geraldine and try to blame the devil if you blow it. The right thing to do is to run to God,
not away from Him. Remember that He is your Father, not the judge. If you confess your sin He is quick
to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9) Get back up. Brush off your
trousers. And start (again) walking in the Spirit.
God is so good!
Inasmuch then as the children
have partaken of flesh and blood, He
Himself (Jesus) likewise shared in the
same that through death He might
destroy him who had the power of
death, that is, the devil.
I Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you
except such as is common to man;
but God is faithful, who will not allow
you to be tempted beyond what you
are able, but with the temptation will
also make the way of escape, that you
may be able to bear it.
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
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you
shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all