“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” -Mark 14:38
People often say, “The devil made me do it.” Unfortunately, that is a false statement. Although the devil does tempt you, he cannot make you do anything. Remember this: You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from making a nest in your hair. The devil tempts you to . . .
T – Taste sin. The devil is sly. He knows how to entice you and me. That’s what happened to Eve. The devil convinced her that it’s ok to just take a taste of the forbidden fruit. Just a taste. That’s what he does to you and me. A little bit of sin here and a little bit of sin there isn’t going to hurt anybody. Read James 1:14, 15.
Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you far more than you want to pay.
E – Embrace his lies. “for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44. As a boy was walking in a wooded area, a snake spoke to him, saying, “Can you carry me across the river?” The boy said, “No. I know you are deadly.” The snake said, “Oh, no. I won’t bite you. You can trust me.” So, the boy carried him across the river. As he was putting the snake down, it curled up and bit the boy on his neck. The boy screamed and said, “You said that you wouldn’t bite me.” The snake hissed and said, “You knew who you were dealing with before you even picked me up.” The devil would love you to believe his lies.
M – Mistrust the will of God. Read 2 Timothy 2:23-25. Abraham and Sarah loved God deeply and received a great promise from Him, but the devil placed doubt in their minds about God’s will. So, they got ahead of God by having Ismael out of the will of God. The devil knows that if he can get you to doubt God’s will, you may end up doubting God.
P – Passively do nothing. Read James 4:17. You wake up in the morning knowing that you need spend time in the Word and prayer, but a voice says, “Oh, you can go ahead and skip your time with God today.” So, you passively do nothing. And the devil loves it.
T – Take the bait of offense. Read Proverbs 19:11. When we are wronged, our natural reaction is to get angry and retaliate. Don’t take the bait of Satan.
“An offended heart is the breeding ground to deception.” -John Bevere
The first step to overcome the devil is to identify his tactics. You can fall into the trap of temptation or be an overcomer. I encourage you to make the choice to resist the devil and what will he do? He will flee (James 4:7).