The Devil Made Me Do It

Can I tell you something? When people are having issues of any kind and they blame Satan it makes me crazy. Listen, I know that Satan is a real guy. I know that his job is to stir things up and try to stop the plan of God from going forward. I’m not denying that at all.

But we all also know that good will prevail, the plan will be successful with ot without our help. We also know that God gave us all free will/agency/choice/a brain so that we could decide to make good choices or go another way.

Remember when we were kids and we had house rules to live by and another kid would invite us to do something that went against those rules? Same thing. We could choose to do the wrong thing or the right thing. When it was done, we were the ones who experienced the consequences of the choice we had made. The kid who invited/asked/teased/tempted us to do the thing didn’t get in trouble for it – well, maybe they did but not from the person who gave us our rules.

So, it makes me crazy when I am sitting in a group and somebody wants to talk about how Satan is the cause of anything in their life. Why are we giving him credit for anything? Why are we letting him know that he’s getting to us?

The reason I’m thinking about this is because I am in the middle of a study of the Second Coming of Christ and the Book of Revelation. In that book it says this:

Revelation 20

1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Now here’s the thing about this we are taught that Satan can have no power over us unless we give it to him. I believe that whole heartedly. Let me give you some references to back up what I’m saying:

1 Nephi 22

26 And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth.

George Q Cannon

Satan only gains power over man through man’s exercise of his own agency; and when Satan shall be bound, as the Lord says he will be for a thousand years, one of the great powers that will help bring this to pass will be man’s agency. The Lord has never forced men against their will to obey Him. He never will do so. If Satan, therefore, has power with man, it is because man yields to his influence. (Gospel Truth, 1:86)

We have the power right now to take away Satan’s influence in our lives. We can choose to follow the Lord and live life on the covenant path. If we choose to follow Chirst Satan;s power is taken away because of our choices combined with the power of Christ’s priesthood in our lives. In no way am I saying that we will live lives without trouble or hardship but I am saying that we will have an easier time getting beyond those things because Satan will not have the power to distract us from our goal of becoming more and more like the Savior every day.

Just one more thing. A quote from President Spencer W. Kimball:

“When Satan is bound in a single home—when Satan is bound in a single life—the Millennium has already begun in that home, in that life”.- Spencer W. Kimball(The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 172).

I know that we can do this and be successful in our goal. We can serve others and work to see them as God sees them and when we make a choice that may not have been the best one we can quickly correct that and get back to the work without excuse or embarassment. When I say we need to see others as God sees them I also mean we need to see ourselves that way. As we acknowledge who we are and also who’s we are, Satan will not even be a noticeable blip to us.

Photo by Donovan Reeves on Unsplash


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