Free will versus The Devil Made Me Do It

I was thinking and meditating today on what causes people to make bad decisions in life so I thought I would share some of my thoughts. In the church, we often say that “satan stole” a persons vision, direction, ministry, etc. but I don’t really believe that satan steals as much as we give. It’s funny how much we see the power of free will until we mess up and say “the devil MADE me do it.” We have choices throughout life. Opportunities to make good decisions or make bad ones and if you think about it, if you made a string of good decisions today they don’t automatically translate into good decisions tomorrow. Since im a pastor i know i must be especially mindful of my actions good or bad and the desire for the devil to trip me up personally and professionally. I was talking with our Senior Pastor and we are both in agreement that there are really only four things that cause someone to get tripped up in ministry: the Gold, the Glory, the Girls or the Guys. I am not above any of the Indiscretions that men and women of God sometimes get caught in and I have an accountability group around me to help keep me honest and focused in life. I think it’s sad how many times communities as well as the entire world has watched while pastors and evangelists have made extemely poor decisons based on their desire for money, fame or an illicit relationship not considering the consequences of those actions.
The Bible says it all in 1 Peter 5:8-9:
8 Be self- controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Notice that it starts with “Be self-controlled and alert” so it starts with
preparing your mind and heart each day for the attacks of the enemy. The verses end with the fact that there are people everywhere dealing with the same temptations which says to me it’s important for men and women to have accountability in there lives because we all deal with the temptation to do wrong. If it was just the power of the devil to devour it may say something like… “be alert! The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
One last thought for today; there is one word in those scriptures that I find awesome and it’s the word “like” when it reffers to the devil and being “like” a lion. There is only one Lion of Judah and that’s Jesus and His power is in operation in you if you have a relationship with him. Don’t let the king of fakers, the devil, fool you into giving away something that your free will has the power of keeping with the help of God. And pastors, none of us are above falling and making mistakes so we need to stay humble, alert and not judge when we see other ministers fall and make poor decisions. Let’s all ask God to have our free will line up with His will and stay alert for the days ahead.