I think I would be safe in saying that most of us would not like the idea of discovering that we have been someone’s victim or pawn—a dupe. Mrs. White states in Manuscript 5, January 20, 1904, “Unless man is given the converting grace of heaven, he will have no disposition to oppose Satan’s counsels, and will become the enemy’s willing dupe.”
Our natural condition is to do evil. You might ask the question, “But how can I resist the devil? I haven’t always done so well.” Without a determined commitment to surrender your will to the Holy Spirit, you will naturally be under the control of Satan. There are only ever two options—remain in our natural state or choose submission to the Holy Spirit.
James 4:7 says, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
So how do you resist the devil? By drawing near to and submitting to God (James 4:8). If God is in your life, the devil won’t be. Do you want to be manipulated and controlled by the devil? Then do nothing and your human nature will take over and you will become a blind dupe of the devil.
But if you want to be saved, if you don’t want the devil to control your life, then choose to submit to the Holy Spirit. Manuscript 5 also says, “It is God alone who puts enmity to sin in the human heart. The Lord gives man a new mind. … It is the Lord’s purpose that depraved human nature should, through His divine power, be provided with a renovating energy.”
Praise God! We have the ability to resist the devil. We have the ability not to yield to temptation. We do not have to sin.
“Man was created a free moral agent. Like the inhabitants of all other worlds, he must be subjected to the test of obedience; but he is never brought into such a position that yielding to evil becomes a matter of necessity. No temptation or trial is permitted to come to him which he is unable to resist. God made such ample provision that man need never have been defeated in the conflict with Satan.
“Satan is the great originator of sin; yet this does not excuse any man for sinning; for he cannot force men to do evil. He tempts them to it, and makes sin look enticing and pleasant; but he has to leave it to their own wills whether they will do it or not. … Man is a free moral agent to accept or refuse. …
“Every provision has been made; everything in God’s plan has been arranged so that man should not be left to his own impulses, to his own finite powers, to carry on the warfare against the powers of darkness in his own finite strength; because he would certainly fail if he were thus left to himself.
“As a redeemed, free moral agent, ransomed by an infinite price, God calls upon you to assert your liberty, and employ your God-given powers as a free subject of the kingdom of heaven. … You are to refuse to be in subjection to the power of evil.” The Faith I Live By, 82 [Emphasis supplied.]
Lord, cure our double-mindedness. Test us, purify our hearts and keep us close to You. Thank You for providing to us everything we need to resist the devil and to instead do Your will.