“Sometimes you yourself can be your own worst enemy.”
The devil is not to blame for everything bad that happens in our lives. I know this is probably a shock to you, but it’s true. Now don’t get me wrong, he is responsible for a lot of what happens to us, but not everything. It is true that he is our enemy and he hates us. His main goal is to steal, kill, and destroy (see John 10:10), but he also has help with carrying out his mission. I know what you’re thinking, “If the devil isn’t always responsible, then who is?” The answer that no one wants to hear is YOU ARE! Yes, you can be responsible for your own chaos. I know society teaches us not to take responsibility and to pass blame, but that is not the Christian way. Believe it or not, you have a personal hand in aiding the devil in destroying you.
I know it’s a tough pill to swallow, but the quicker you can recognize which enemy is at work in your life and in your circumstances, the quicker you can go to God and receive the help you need. Here’s an example: A person is 100 pounds overweight, is a drinker, and has a fast food diet. He/she has been warned by the doctor that if this lifestyle isn’t changed, he/she can develop a chronic illness or even die. The person ignores the warnings and now has Type 2 diabetes. With this comes unforeseen medical bills, declining health, double the medication, and inconvenience, but who is really at fault here? The devil had nothing to do with it! Not following doctor’s orders is a personal choice the person decided to make. Although this is an extreme case, these are the types of situations I’m referring to. It doesn’t always have to deal with health—it can be with any area of your life. Not doing your part to prevent a situation makes you the culprit and not the devil.
The devil does spend a lot of time trying to devise ways to cause havoc in our lives. In the book of Job when the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, He asked Satan where he was coming from. Satan answered him saying, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it” (see Job 1: 7 NLT) Also, in 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) it states “…the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” These scriptures clearly show how the devil is constantly after you. You may use this as your defense as to why things are going wrong in your life, but neglecting what the Word of God says to do or not to do puts the onus on you, not him.
I like the New Century Version of Ephesians 4:27, “Do not give the devil a way to defeat you.” Even in this scripture, you are the one responsible for keeping the devil out of your life. There are many ways that you can open the door to the devil, some of which you may have never thought were a big deal. The following can be grouped under one category of SIN, but the list gives you a more specific idea: bitterness; anger; resentment; frustration; unforgiveness; doubt/unbelief/being faithless; pride; arrogance; stubbornness; divulging in temptation; gossip/slander; complaining; gratifying the flesh; fault finding; sexual immorality; disobedience; etc. Ephesians 4:26 suggests that giving into anger alone can give a foothold to the devil. All of the above lowers your spiritual defenses and invites the devil into your life to wreak havoc. When you allow yourself to act ungodly to life’s circumstances, you are rolling out the red carpet for the devil. If you give him an inch, he’ll surely take more than a mile, sometimes to the point of no return.
It’s time for us to grow up spiritually and become more mature in God. God has given us the tools we need to defeat the devil, including the gift of the Holy Spirit, but we must seek them out and put them to use. Before a problem can be solved, there must be an admission that there is, in fact, a problem. To take it a step further, the real culprit and the role that that culprit played in the creation of the problem must also be identified. Only then can you have true progress towards a solution. There will be situations that the devil will be 100% responsible for, but honestly, we are our own enemies in many of the situations that we find ourselves in and for many different reasons. Next time you find yourself in an unpleasant situation, look in the mirror to see who’s the blame!