“The devil made me do it!”
This is one of the most misused and inaccurate statements that could ever be uttered from the mouths of a Christian and even, to a certain degree, non-Christians. Truth is, short of outright possession (which entails a number of steps that we won’t go into today), a devil, or more specifically a fallen angel in allegiance with the prince of the air, Lucifer, cannot coerce or make any free-thinking or free-willing person to step out of sync with the will of our Creator, God Almighty. However, this doesn’t mean that Satan or his kingdom does not exist.
He is very real.
He is very evil.
And his mission is to destroy the unity of man and God.
But, here’s the secret, the enemy of God has no power to force Him or His creations to do anything. If he could, you couldn’t imagine the hell that earth would be! And we might not even be here at all! His function is to gain permission from God (that statement is absolutely KEY, for, while he is at enmity with God and directly opposed to Him, he cannot, as a specific creation of the Most High, directly disobey or operate without the permission of the Most High) and TEMPT man to WILLFULLY choose disobedience to the will of the Father. This is the only thing that “the devil” can do, and, if you analyze that, it restricts his function solely to external phenomena to be experienced and responded to .
That burning feeling in your heart when the girl in the tight dress with the perfectly blessed backside walks by? That’s you (although the girl might be under the lead of the enemy, either knowingly or unknowingly, a good subject for another blog).
The desire born up from inside of you when you see the big bag of money that you could get if you just grabbed it when no one was looking? You.
That desire to use that rent money to buy Call of Duty 17 because it’s just “so dope”… Are you seeing a trend here?
Now, that does not go without saying that the devil may or may not have a role to play in stirring up the desires and lusts but he cannot FORCE you to lust or act on it. Only cause temptation, and if you analyze it more deeply, I would argue that most temptations are results of our own, un-tempted disobedience to God’s will (thus, by default completing the will of Satan).
So, how can I tell when I was goofing up or when Satan was given permission to test me? Well, the bible gives us a perfect example of how to tell! Simply look at the walk of Job. Here’s is a man who was blameless in the sight of man and without lifting a finger, calamity befell his house.
This is a good moment to seagway to the atheist argument that a “absolutely good” God could not exist in this world and allow what man considers evil to endure or “unjustified” deaths to occur (a four year old girl getting hit by a car, while her rapist lives a long “life”). Let us be mindful that the human capability to discern what is good or evil on a cosmic level is non-existent as we are unable to perceive ultimate good or evil because of our inability to neither see the end of this matter we call physical existence, nor peer beyond the veil of death and clearly describe the realm that lies beyond. Good and evil then in our paradigm is linked directly to obedience or disobedience to God, the only One who understands the end of the matter of physical existence in whatever tense you wish to describe and not only can articulate the mystery of the great beyond that lies after death, but also is it’s Author and Fabricator. If you are confused at all in this concept, please read my first COLLEGE level blog that tackles the difference between right vs. wrong and good vs. evil.
All that being said, I just got out of Dallas County jail and was led to write this blog, because a recent conversation with a friend suggested that there may be confusion as to what the function of the devil in our realm is. His job is to tempt, to resonate disharmoniously with the vibration of God and cause that disharmony to seem so desirable that man, who has the choice of which frequency to vibrate at, forsakes the option to harmoniously vibrate with his own creator and vibrate at the lower levels of this realm at the benefit of his flesh and sacrifice of his spirit. And my brothers and sisters Dallas County Jail had temptation written all over it.
There I was, minding my own business, heading to the gas station to get gas for the vehicle I had just been “blessed with” in order to make the trip back to Waco to perform at two events, and, upon pulling into gas pump #7, a police car that had been following and casing me turned its roof into a flashing laser lights show. One thing led to another and before you knew it, I was squished into the back of a squad car and carried away to an all expense paid vacation at the Dallas County Jail. I immediately perceived the despair that was being born in my being and the arousal of all sorts of fears: No! I won’t be able to minister at this tour! God will I be here for months, like some of the horror stories I hear and see? Will I even be able to connect with my family? Do they know?
I was at a cross roads and I would like to bring your attention to the predicament of Eve in the garden of Eden. The serpent, who was the devil, had a simple and very limited role in the fall of man. We as people tend to attribute the majority of the credit to him, but look at the situation truly. The serpent only presented an alternate version of reality that catered to the Eve’s three foundations of carnal desire (lust of the eye, lust of the flesh and pride of life), and like a farmer who knows he’s put good seed in good soil he waits to see the fruit that occurs. Taking that into perspective we see that the role of the enemy is very limited and all sin is borne of man’s desires, conceiving lust and giving birth to sin.
I laid in bunk #29 of Pod C wondering if this was going to be the reality of my life to come. If all of that priming at the objective was only a preparation to wage war on a field so far from my fellow warriors I met in Nashville. And the whole time I was there, I cannot lie, the temptation to doubt, to fear, to want to punch a rude, self-righteous sheriff in the face crossed my mind more than once, and for that I repent and ask that you pray for me. Thank God that I was not left to die in my on sin, left to rot as a prisoner. Thank God that I found purpose in the pain of the experience by getting to witness and fellowship with two outbound men, one of whom testified to my mom on the way out of imprisonment and back into the illusion of freedom in this world. I cannot imagine hell, but I can earnestly say that America’s prison system does no service to the prisoner or the society in which the prisoner is released afterwards. I pray for our captives behind bars because of a slated system, I pray for those incarcerated for good reason, most of all I pray for everyone of us, that we would learn to be agents of change, regardless of where God’s hand allows us to go. For in that submission, the true follower of Christ and find Divine purpose and liberty, regardless of the physical appearance of his/her situation.
Testimony: Unseen, unstoppable forces were allowed to tempt me to despair through incarceration, but praise the Lord! I’m free, my supporters still support the mission I’ve been sent on and I claim we are altogether strengthened by witnessing that when God is for His children there is no one in existence that can triumph against us!