““O Israel,” says the Lord, “if you wanted to return to me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more.” Jeremiah‬ ‭4:1‬

Back in the 1970s, a comedian named Flip Wilson did several comedy sketches built around the phrase “the devil made me do it!”

While there was a lot of humor in those sketches, the reality is that many of us continue to play the blame game when it comes to our struggles.

We blame our spouse for relational issues. We blame the boss for an unhealthy work environment or our inability to pay our bills. We blame the pastor for our lack of spiritual growth. We blame the government for… well, everything. We may even blame the devil himself!

Make no mistake about it, Satan is powerful; he is deceitful; his intent is to destroy us. The apostle Paul teaches us that Satan is at the root of all our battles. The last thing the devil wants us to do is to follow God and live in the peace and freedom that God wants us to be in and that we have available to us through Jesus Christ.

The reality is, because of Jesus’ death on the cross, and because of his resurrection, we have the Holy Spirit living within us when we are his followers. We did not receive a spirit of fear but a spirit of power.

The message God sent to Israel is the same message he sends to us today. Nothing in our past and nothing in our current circumstances can keep us from turning to God if we truly want to. He wants us to come home to him. He wants us to experience his love. He wants us to know the joy and peace we can have in him through Jesus.

But the choosing is ours. We have to want to change first and then ask God to help us begin the journey to living a God pleasing life. Satan wants to destroy you. God wants to build you up and empower you. But the choice begins with you!