Remember, the old cliché, " the devil made me do it". “This idiom was made famous by a comedian from the '70s, Flip Wilson. The phrase became such a national expression that many folks either used it or poked fun at it. However, it can be a very real excuse for many Christians.
Even if we believers don’t come right out and say, “The devil made me do it”, we still tend to give credit to the devil's ability to twist and manipulate our lives.
Often times, we may cite weaknesses or issues from our past which make overcoming temptation difficult. So, how do we Christians escape this dreaded idiom ? Simply put, we must not conform to this world but we must be transformed, by renewing our minds in Christ Jesus.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will".( Romans 12"1-2)
I am going to venture out, here, and make a bold statement. One of Satan's ( also known as the adversary) most common "oxymoron" scriptures is Romans 12:2.
You see, Satan knows he can persuade us believers to "conform" to this world, as he has already accomplished this with the unbelievers. And he knows if he can get us to confirm to today's political agenda, he's got us.
But, Satan also knows that his biggest hurdle is when we Christians are 'transformed " by the renewing of our mind in Christ Jesus.
" Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus". ( Philippians 2:5):
We Christians must not let Satan win out in this battle. In other words, we should be in this world but not of this world. Does this sound confusing ? Read on.
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19)
We all chose either a biblical or worldly philosophy, as we go through life. So, we must be transformed, by the Holy Spirit, rather than submitting to Satan's deceiving lies.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15)
Satan's ploy, of conforming us to the world, probably started when he attempted to set himself up to be equal with God.
" But you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recess of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself the most high." ( Isaiah 14:13-14)
You see Satan wished to occupy heaven, the abode of God Himself. And his ploys have continue until this very day.
First, Satan, deceived our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden when he got them to commit the first sin. A sin that will last forever, in this age, making it necessary for all people born to be regenerated back to God, by way of the cross. ( Please read Genesis 3)
"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned". (Romans 5:12)
Satan's deceitful ways, ever so bold, even touched the Lord Jesus Christ. But we know Satan failed. ( please read Matthew 4 )
So, how is Satan conforming this old world of ours? Primarily, we must look at his personality:
---He possesses Intellect. (2 Cor. 11:3)
---He has emotion. ( Rev. 12:17)
---He has a will (2 Tim 2:26)
---He is treated as a morally responsible person. (Matt.25:41)
---Personal pronouns are used of him. (Job 1)
With these personal traits in mind, let us look at how he does his work, here on earth, to conform us to his purpose:
---He caused conflict, as in the garden of Eden. (Gen 3:15)
---He is a master at causing temptation, as the tempting of Christ. ( Matt 4:11)
---He uses certain people to attempt to discredit the work of Christ. ( Matt 2:16- John 8:4- Matt 16:23)
---He possess human bodies, as with Judas. ( John 13:27)
---He deceives the nations. ( Rev 20:3)
---He is an organizer, as with the last battle. ( Rev 16:13-14)
---He blinds unbelievers minds. ( 2 Cor. 4:4)
---He snatches the Word from the unbelievers hearts. (Luke 8:12)
---He uses unbelievers to oppose Gods work. ( Rev 2:3)
So, you say that all's well and good but Satan can't conform Christians to this world. Wait a minute. Don't be so sure of that. In relation to Christians:
---He tempts us to lie. ( (Acts 5:3)
---He accuses and slanders. ( Rev 12:10)
---He hinders our work. ( 1 Thess. 2:18)
---He employees demons to attempt to defeat us. (1 Cor. 7:5)
---He sows discord among believers. ( Matt 13:38-39)
---He tempts to immorality. ( 1 Cor. 7:5)
---He incites persecution against us. ( Rev 2:10)
Now, does this not read like today's newspaper or today's TV spots.
However, don't give up the fight. We have an all powerful God, who will and is defending us, against the " fiery darts of the devil".(Ephesians 6:10-20)
Remember, the defense of believers against Satan is:
---The intercessory work of Christ. ( John 17:15)
---God using him for our benefit. ( 2 Cor. 12:7)
---We know to be on guard. ( 1 Peter 5:8)
---We should take a definite stand against him. ( James 4:7)
---We should use God's armor. ( Ephesians 6:11-18)
I realize Satan is now conforming both believers and unbelievers alike to this world. However, we can still conquer his plans, by transforming our minds, in Christ Jesus. So, just keep believing, praying and looking up. For our redemption is drawing nay. Let's just renew our minds, in Christ Jesus.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" ( Philippians 4:6-7)