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Ask A Pastor: How strong is Satan’s influence on me?

Question:

Do we blame Satan for the influence of sin more than our own influence? Lately, I’ve noticed that at a lot of church topics and sermons speak of how Satan lies to us, and how he is our enemy trying to persuade us away from Christ. But personally I feel like the only enemy and one to blame for my OWN sin is MYSELF. I’ve never felt like Satan was attacking me, making me sin, but that it was all of me and my own fault. Should I put recognition and blame on Satan’s attacks in my life?


Answer:

On the one hand, we should never underestimate the power or influence of Satan. After all, if one good angel was able to kill 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in a night, then it would be wise to realize a fallen angel is a powerful creature too (2 Kings 19:35). Having said that, Satan is not God. It is clear from passages like Job 1 that Satan can do nothing beyond what God allows. Jesus calls the devil a liar and a murderer (Jn. 8:44). So he indeed tries to deceive people, including us, in many destructive ways through a variety of temptations.


Scripture also makes plain that Satan cannot make anyone sin. James 1:14 says, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.” So for example, even though satan tempted Jesus, there was nothing in Jesus that was attracted to the temptations. So yes, as you wrote, every sin we commit, or every good we omit, is always our own fault. But make no mistake that Satan will do all that he can to encourage us, blind us, or deceive us so that sin looks pleasant while the cost remains hidden.


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