Have you ever heard the saying, “The devil made me do it”? Kids and comedians alike have used this saying to excuse bad behavior. We think of it jokingly, but where did it come from? From the original poster child for sin, of course: Eve! That’s right, she’s the one who first used this excuse for listening to a snake who was telling her to be like God. So, do you really think God separated Himself from Adam and Eve over an apple? No, sin is more than the act of eating the fruit itself… sin actually sprung up from a tiny little thought.
Why was Eve having a conversation with a snake in the first place? He lured her into this discussion by asking her if she knew about the “rules” of the Garden. Turned out she really didn’t! She only knew her version of the truth, not THE truth! As the original “rule breaker,” Satan knew all about breaking rules. He knew the rules of the Garden even though Eve didn’t, making it very easy for him to tell her his version. Eve bought into the lies, and before you know it, the devil had her convinced that eating the fruit of that tree would automatically make her like God. The problem was that she was already like God, and she didn’t know it!
Adam and Eve traded their ability to act on the promptings of God through their spirits for a reliance on their mind, will, and emotions. They couldn’t commune with God anymore as spirit to Spirit; now they had to commune with Him through reasoning – soul to Spirit. If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll recognize that we still do the same thing. When faced with a decision, we try to figure out what to do with our soul before we go to God through our spirit.
See, as descendants of Adam and Eve, we are limited to thought patterns of right or wrong and good or bad. These thought patterns produce actions. People don’t just commit random acts of sin; they think about it first, then act on it. It’s not the devil that made you do it; it’s your sin nature that thought it up before you acted on it! Religion keeps us focused on that outward action so that we look to our own sense of right and wrong to “fix it.” God wants us to look to our spirit to see what He would do instead.
Relying on our spirit to commune with God means we have to feed our spirit on the Word and spend time with Him through worship and prayer so that His voice becomes clearer to us than the voice of our own conscious. The more we rely on our born again spirit to commune with Him and to guide our actions, the more we will become like Him. It’s time to put the apple down, walk away from the tree, and stop blaming the devil for our mistakes!
~by guest contributor, Christe Grzehowiak