Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. -Matthew 4:8-10 (KJV)
A number of years ago the U.S. Navy had an advertising slogan which declared, “Some jobs promise you the world, but the Navy delivers.” I want to point out today the devil will also promise the world, yet he will never deliver. Jesus resisted the temptations offered Him because He was standing firmly on the Word of God, He had been praying, and His spiritual resolve was ever growing. When we take a similar position of spiritual discipline we too will be empowered to keep walking forward in God’s will and not be tripped up by the distractions and temptations which will be tossed our direction.
I recall as a boy watching comedian Flip Wilson and one of his comedy routines involved an individual he called Geraldine. Do you remember Geraldine’s famous phrase? She used to say, “The devil made me do it.” This always seemed to make people laugh, yet blaming the devil for our inability to resist him is no laughing matter. We have the choice of wallowing in self-pity and trying to blame others, including the devil, for giving in to the temptations which come our way, yet we have to realize the responsibility ultimately rests with us. If the devil places something before me, and I give into it, then I have no one to blame but myself. We waste our time and energy when we blame others for what we have done.
Jesus understood as He took His stand against the wiles of the devil that His strength was the Word of God, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lord also knew anything the devil was offering was evil and should be resisted. Consider the word “devil” is one letter removed from the word “evil.” The two words are indeed synonymous. Christ empowers us to take our stand upon the same resources which He Himself employed: God’s Word, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit. These precious and divine resources are available to us every day as we walk forward in God’s power and the spiritual victory which will follow.
Don’t waste time placing blame and suffering in guilt and spiritual paralysis. Claim the victory Jesus offers, stand upon His Word, and walk forward in faith.