Over the weekend, my husband and I watched the award winning thriller, "The Devil's Advocate". Although I've seen this 1997 classic many, many times, this was one of the few times I really listened to some of the things John Milton (AKA Satan) declared in the movie's climactic closing scene. Although his monologues may have been emphasized for dramatic effect, the relevancy of his messages stuck out as powerful reminders and warnings.
You've heard the saying 'the devil made me do it', right? We've all either heard, thought or declared it at some point. But, if we'd only stop and listen to what exactly is being proclaimed, we'd soon realize the statement couldn't be further from the truth. And, more than likely, we were/are using Satan as a scapegoat for our sin. Imagine that.
So many times, we find ourselves in undesirable situations and automatically blame it on Satan and his tricks. However, usually we fail to acknowledge our choices and decisions that led us into our circumstances. Our choices are often the root of our circumstances, good or bad. Because we are not puppets, Satan can not "make" us do anything. Nor can God, for that matter.
"I only set the stage. You pulled your own strings."
Please know and understand that, unlike God, Satan is not omnipresent. This means he can't be everywhere at the same time. This is good news because that means he is not always with me -- or you, or anyone else! But he is, however, always watching and waiting for the prime time to nurture whatever fleshly desire we have. He is a master at preying on our emotions and vulnerabilities.
During these times, we send him signals, alerting him that we've left the door wide open and he's welcome to come in and make us comfortable in our weakened state. He waits until the right moment and he slips in. Sometimes, he plants seeds in our thoughts that lead us to believe that our ungodly behavior is perfectly normal, par for the course. He is a cunning opportunist.
"I've nurtured every sensation man has been inspired to have... I'm a fan of man!"
For instance, when we haven't alone time with God in awhile and we wake up in a bad mood, he cheers us on because he knows that as a result, we will be more likely to mistreat others as we go through our day. And most likely, those people we mistreat will do the same to others and the cycle will continue. He enjoys seeing us hoarding our stuff and things because the more focused we are on obtaining more stuff and things, the less likely we are to bless others. He smiles at our selfishness. He gets giddy and overjoyed when there is discord in our marriages because it may eventually lead to strife and divorce. He cheers us on all the way to divorce court. He beams with excitement every time we miss a church service because he knows if we aren't receiving God's Word and surrounding ourselves with our like-minded brothers and sisters, we will become weak and comfortable. It will be easier for us to be enticed with unrighteousness. He is tickled pink when we allow distractions to derail us from the plan God has for us because the further we are from God's plan, the more likely we are to follow our own. And he's always on the sidelines cheering us on. Making us feel right at home.
He's been playing us like pawns on a chess board. He is always there, watching and waiting with open arms. Ready to embrace all things that are against Christ. Ready for us to give up our faith. He wants us to tip the balance just enough in his direction so he can enable and encourage us to waddle in our messy situations for however long we allow him to do so. He's counting on us to do his dirty work!
But there is hope for us! It's a set up! The game is fixed! We can win!
God gave each and every one of us a gift: FREE WILL, the ability to act at our own discretion. Rather than making us into robots and puppets, God gave us the ability to choose right from wrong. Life or death. Blessings or curses. When we follow God's leading, we are choosing life and living life as God intended and desired.
If we are continually heeding and obeying God's voice and direction, He will never led us astray. He has faced every temptation known to us and He can direct us out of them. When we make God our first choice and priority over all, He directs us. When we are focused on pleasing Him, He sees to it that every dart, every scheme, every plot than Satan throws at us is thwarted! He is no match against our God!
I encourage you to continue to choose to do right: The Word of God. Especially during those times when you would rather choose the opposite. God is on our side and He's here to help us. Talk to Him. Allow Him to guide you. You won't go wrong!
If you enjoyed reading this WHOAment, you may also like "Can You Hear Me Now?"
I enjoy hearing from you. So, let's chat!
*What is your favorite scene from The Devil's Advocate?
*What was the circumstance where you recognized you made the right choice?
*Do you know how to play chess? What was your highest score?
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