Get rid of all bitterness, anger, and vengefulness. Avoid quarreling and slander, shunning all kinds of malice. — Ephesians 4:31
Sin is failure to do the good you know you should do. — James 4:17
If I had suffered an abusive childhood, had intolerant teachers in school, or my boss was too demanding, I might use those bad breaks to excuse my faults and failures. However, I would be wrong in doing so.
I have no good excuse.
No matter what my hardships have been, I can’t truthfully say, “It’s not my fault.”
Comedian Flip Wilson once said, “The devil made me do it,” but even that excuse isn’t valid. A legion of evil spirits wasn’t enough to keep the demonic from falling at the feet of Jesus (Mark 5:6).
As a sinner, I wasn’t forced to do right (Romans 6:20). As a righteous person, I’m not forced to do wrong. I can pray, “Deliver me from evil,” but I need to remember that my choice depends on my desire, not God’s.
How can I win the war within?
To win the war, I must correctly identify both the enemy and the battleground. Satan is the enemy because his message opposes the truth of God, but victory comes only when I completely surrender my will to whatever God wants (James 4:7).
When I pray to be kept from evil, I’m looking for God’s help in changing my desires to what they need to be.