Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Don't Give Him an Inch

{Ephesians 4:26, 27; ESV}
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.

The intended audience for much of the New Testament is Christians. From Romans to Revelation each of the books were written to different Churches. The book of Ephesians likewise was written to the Church at Ephesus. The Apostle Paul warned Christians about letting the Devil get a foothold in their lives. I believe this is a warning we need take very seriously.

For much too long we have lived our lives clueless about the power of the Enemy we face. We watch whatever we want, listen to whatever we like, allow our emotions to rule the choices we make, and put God into some corner of our hearts where He isn't very accessible. Because we underestimate the power of the Enemy we don't even notice the fact that he is building a fortress in our lives.

The Apostle warns the Ephesians about anger, and encourages them not to allow their anger to fester and stew, but to deal with disagreements in a loving manner. I believe that angry is not the only way we allow Satan to get a foothold in our lives. Any time we don't handle the situations in our lives the way God has instructed us to we allow Satan to set up shop in our lives.

John Eldredge in Waking the Dead wrote; "The major ways we give claim to the Enemy in our lives are through sin and through making agreements with him" (pg. 175). Starting with this truth found in Ephesians 4:26, 27 about giving the Devil a foothold in our lives, let us take a moment and consider how we have been allowing Satan to stake a claim in our lives.

The obvious one is sin. That is what Paul plain states in this passage "don't sin." We all have sin in our lives, and when we don't take steps to remove that sin from our lives we give Satan a place to dwell. When God, through the Holy Spirit, reveals to us a sin that is in our heart, it is our job to level every resource we have against it. If we don't and the sin continues to be a part of our lives then we have allowed Satan to stake a claim in our hearts.

The second way we allow Satan to dwell in our lives is by making agreements with him. I don't mean that we come to an arrangement with Satan, such as giving him our soul for a doughnut (like Homer Simpson), but rather agreeing with him about who we are. We give the Devil a foothold in our lives when we agree with him that we are dirty rotten sinners rather than believing God's promises that we are His children and that we are new creations. Those nasty things you believe about yourself are not reality of your life, rather they are lies of Satan. Agreeing with Satan about such things gives him a foothold into our lives.

We long to experience the life God has promised us. We long to have a life of significance and purpose, but our current lives are so far from what we desire. The reason is because we have ignored the Enemy, and we have given him a place to dwell in our lives. If we want to experience the life God created us to live we need to fight for it.

It is time to start cleaning house and kicking Satan out of the strongholds that we have allowed him to build in our lives. We do this by changing the way we live and believing in the promises of God. Get serious about the Enemy who wants to destroy your life, don't give him an inch of your life, because if you do he will do his best to ruin the life God has planned for you. Don't let the sun set on another day without beginning to fight for the life Jesus died for you to enjoy.

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