With Halloween approaching, you may see some devil decorations or watch a movie that involves some demonic activity. But why does the devil scare us? Jesus conquered sin and death through His own death and resurrection, so shouldn’t we be free from the devil’s influence and temptations?
A listener named Lois recently called in to The Patrick Madrid Show and asked Patrick to explain why God allows the devil to tempt us. Patrick responded:
“The answer, I guess, is that God knows this is for our benefit. And I know it may sound kind of odd to put it that way. But I guess it’s the same way that the football coach allows feeling exhausted, sweating profusely, getting cramps, and all the other things that his football players have to go through during their training and preparation. They’re not going to win the game if they’re not tired, sore, or hurt because of all the weightlifting, the drills, the running, the wind sprints, and all that.
The coach knows that those things, in themselves, are not good. A cramp is not a good thing in itself. But when you push past it in preparation for the big game, you push yourself to build endurance, and to build strength, and speed, and all those things that are necessary to play football. Then they can win the game.
So, if that analogy is useful, I would propose that is why God allows the demons to harass us this way. Because we are preparing through life to deal with those temptations, and we become stronger and better because of that.
So in a strange kind of way, and I’m sure it irks the devils, but those Christians who grow in holiness do so because we are benefited by the ways in which the devils tempt us and harass us. Because we rely on God’s grace and we grow stronger and stronger and more immune to them. And that must really irk them. Because, in fact, they have a part to play in our growth in holiness if we resist them.
We wouldn’t have the resistance that is necessary in order to grow in holiness if everything were OK and there were no temptations. Then I would think it would be very difficult to grow in holiness.
But because we have that resistance, like that football team that’s practicing and preparing, the sweat, the pain, the tiredness, all of those things are beneficial in the long run.”
Listen to the full conversation below: