Many things sound good, are repeated frequently enough, and are common enough to the speech of other Christians, that there is a tendency to accept and use them simply on that basis. The problem is—they may be wrong; quite wrong.
“Can you give me a for instance?”
Sure. Ever hear people say “Now that was a miracle!” or ‘The devil made me do it,” or . . . well, you name it.
“Yeah. I’ve heard both. The first sounds OK, but the second I have doubts about.”
You should have doubts—as a matter of fact, you should reject both as unbiblical statements.
Because they are unbiblical.
“How about the devil made me do it? It seems like an excuse—that’s why I’m doubtful.”
It usually is just that whenever someone says so. But, it’s more important to understand that it’s wrong because it’s unbiblical. In I John 5:18 we are told that the Evil One cannot even “touch” a believer, let alone make him think or do something. He can tempt, put obstacles in your way, and so on; but he does all of this by means of his people—who are all around you. Now, they may have no ideas of his plans, and, may act unwittingly about what they are doing; nevertheless, if he’s working through them, they can become a roadblock or a temptation to you without even knowing it. Jesus once told some of such people “You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires” (John 8:44).
“Wow! That’s quite a statement. Should probably encourage people to be careful in talking about believers a having been made to do something by the Devil. If it were true, they’d probably not really be Christians after all. Of course, they probably are using the expression carelessly.”
“What about that miracle thing?”
Well, there’s a lot of eschatology connected with the answer that I can’t go into here, but you can read about it in my book, The Big Umbrella. Let me at least say here that people are not careful to distinguish a work of God’s providence from a miracle. God is at work in His world—He’s no Deistic God, Who, having made the universe, walked off, never to have much to do with it again. No, Romans 8:28,29 refutes any such idea. But the difference between a miracle—which was used to authentic someone doing something special for God (Cf, Acts 2:22) and a work of providence is something else.
“’Fraid so. Guess I’ll just have to change my speech.”