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Is it a copout to blame the devil when we do things wrong, or does he initiate temptation and then we make it worse by caving in?

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: Is it a copout to blame the devil when we do things wrong, or does he initiate temptation and then we make it worse by caving in? In other words, is Satan always to blame when things go wrong in our lives, or are we sometimes responsible? – S.U.

A: The Bible makes it clear that Satan is real and that he is ultimately behind all the evil that goes on in the world. But now we live in a fallen world twisted by sin – and Satan is behind it.

But Satan is not all-powerful, nor does he directly cause every bad thing that happens to us. Sometimes we don’t know the cause – but often we alone are responsible, because we have turned our backs on God and deliberately followed our own sinful desires instead of His will. The Bible says, “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin” (James 1:14-15, ESV). When this happens, we pay the consequences. The Bible warns, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7, NKJV).

We need to be acquainted with Satan’s tempting ways: the false promises he makes, twisting the Word of God, and cleverly deceiving people. We should pray to the Lord, asking Him to strengthen us so that we resist the devil and cause him to flee.

 

The Bible clearly teaches that when we turn our backs on God and choose to disregard His moral laws there are inevitable consequences. But by Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can be triumphant over the forces of evil – those in our heart and those in the world.

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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

©2024 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


(c)2024 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.


 

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