Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
This passage of scripture teaches the sacred and very important truth that there are limits to what the devils can and cannot do, for God has not left them to run riot and to cause havoc, through unbridled destruction and harassment of the human family. There are indeed certain restrictions put in place, and boundaries which cannot be crossed, except it be by our own permission, since God does not prevent us from making choices that can result in adverse or undesirable consequences. For instance, in the case of temptations, God has put limits on what we can bear, for if He were to allow it, the enemy of souls could take us to the brink with trials and perplexities that can cause us to turn back, but because God now carefully monitors what comes our way, we are spared a plethora of negative and deadly disturbances. Let's read:
1st Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
But there is also a tendency for us to blame satan wrongfully for things that we have brought on our own selves, which he may have had nothing to do with, and there are also many other instances where we may be tempted to depart from the straight and narrow way, and through our own freedom of choice, may have succumbed to temptation. In neither case can we cast the blame on temptation, for the devils can solicit, but they cannot force us to do evil, if we stay connected to Jesus every step of the way.
Thus, one of the more common temptations to Christians is for us to disconnect ourselves from our Redeemer under one pretext or another, for it is then and only then that the temptations of devils can exert their power and influence over us, thus causing us to stumble. This is what we are specifically warned not to do for any reason, for if and whenever it occurs, we are sure to fall. Let's read:
John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
As Christians we should avoid setting ourselves up to be tempted of the devil, by avoiding certain places and situations where the forces of the enemy are firmly entrenched. Take for example, the instruction given to us in Philippians pertaining to the type of material we should allow our minds to dwell upon, in order for us to keep our minds and hearts stayed on God. The guidance there given will preclude us from going to the movies, where violence, comedy, and sensual indulgences are the order of the day.
Furthermore, there are certain ways true Christians ought not to die, for if for some reason one is gunned down in a movie theater, after having gone to watch Harry Potter, or the wizard of Oz, he or she would more than likely have been in violation of the clearest instructions given in Philippians, and then we would not be able to blame the "devils" for the untimely demise. Let's read:
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 "And the God of peace shall be with you.
Let us therefore be certain to walk in harmony with the laws and instructions given in God's word, for it is our sacred duty and responsibility to avoid as far as possible, satan's enchanted ground, where we are more likely to invite temptation to our own detriment. We therefore end with a passage of scripture which encourages us to resist the temptation to presume on God's goodness, by placing ourselves unnecessarily in harm's way, for if we resist the devils, they will flee from us. Let's read:
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
May The Lord add His blessing to the study and practice of His every word. God bless!