Thursday, August 21, 2008

Don't give place to the devil

God spoke into my heart today the importance of not "giving Place to the devil." What does that mean? Let me share with you some thoughts from Rick Renner in his "Sparkling Gems from the Greek" book.

You and I never have to fall prey to the devil! If we can shut every door, close every window, and seal every place in our lives through which the enemy would try to access us, we can prevent him from getting into the middle of our affairs.

One of the "entry points" the devil tries to use to enter our lives is relationships. If there is an unresolved issue or an ugly conflict with a loved one or friend, these conflict points often become entry points through which the devil tries to get a foothold in our relationships with those we love. Once the enemy is able to slip in through one of these "cracks" and build an offended place in our minds, then a wall has already begun to be constructed that will eventually separate us from the people we need and love the most.

In Ephesians 4:27, the apostle Paul writes, "Neither give place to the devil." The word "place" is the Greek word topos. It refers to a specific, marked-off, geographical location. It carries the idea of a territory, province, region, zone, or geographical position. It is from this word that we get the word for a topographical map. Because the word topos depicts a geographical location, this lets us know that the devil is after every region and zone of our lives — money, health, marriage, relationships, employment, business, and ministry. He is so territorial that he wants it all. But to start his campaign to conquer allthose areas of our lives, he must first find an entry point from which he can begin his campaign of unleashing his devilish destruction in our lives.

We often throw open the door to the devil when we:

Refuse to let go of old hurts and wounds.
Refuse to acknowledge what we did wrong.
Refuse to forgive others for what they did.

Refuse to stop judging others for their grievances.
Refuse to admit we were wrong too.
Refuse to say, "I'm sorry" when we're wrong.
Refuse to lay down our "rights" for others.
If you and I do any of these things, we leave a "marked-off place" through which the devil can enter to accuse others in our minds. But we don't have to fall victim to the enemy's tactics.

We can say, "No, you're not going to do this!" We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, so we don't have to let the devil run all over us. The Bible boldly declares, "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).

The apostle Paul told us, "Neither give place to the devil." The Greek makes it clear that we must choose to give the devil no territory. You see, we have a choice: We can choose to "give the enemy place" in our minds and emotions, or we can choose to walk in the Spirit. If we choose the lower road, we will end up doing and saying things we later regret. Those regretful things are usually what opens the door for the devil to wreak havoc in our relationships.

There are many people who don't know how to recover from conflicts. Rather than face the situation head-on and either apologize or openly forgive, they hold their failure or their offense in their hearts, never forgetting it and never getting beyond it.

What about you? Have you ever given place to the dil by allowing anger, resentment, bitterness, or unforgiveness to have a "place" in you?

But let's look at the word "devil" for a moment. The word "devil" comes from the Greek word diabolos, an old compound word that is made from the words dia and ballo. This name is used sixtyone times in the New Testament. The first part of the word is the prefix dia, which means through and often carries the idea of penetration. Because dia is used at the first of this word, it tells us that the devil wants to make some kind of penetration.

We've already seen that the devil is looking for an entry point. Once a point has been located through which he can secretly slip into people's lives, he begins penetrating the mind and emotions to drive a wedge between those individuals and the other people in their lives. The enemy's objective is to separate them from each other with his railing, accusing, slanderous accusations.

You'll know when the accuser has gone to work in your mind because your whole perspective about the person you are upset with suddenly changes. You become nit-picky, negative, and fault-finding. You used to have high regard for that person, but now you can't see anything good about him at all. It's as if you've put on a special set of eyeglasses that are specially designed to reveal all his wicked, ugly, horrid details. Even if you do see something good in him, all the bad you see outweighs the good.

This is clear evidence that the work of the "accuser" has found an entry point to penetrate your relationship with that other person. He is trying to disrupt what has been a pleasant and gratifying relationship in your life. Don't allow that conflict, disagreement, or disappointment to cause you to pick up a wrong attitude that will ruin your relationship. That's exactly what the devil wants you to do!

Rather than allow this to happen, stop and tell yourself, Okay, this isn't as big of a deal as I'm making it out to be. The devil is trying to find a place in my mind to get me to start mentally accusing that person, and I'm not going to let him do it.

Instead of meditating on all the bad points of that person, look in the mirror yourself ! Consider how many times you've let down other people; how many mistakes you've made in your relationships; the times you should have been held accountable but instead were shown unbelievable mercy. Remembering these things has a way of making you look at an offensive situation a little more mercifully.

Ask the Holy Spirit to take the criticism out of your heart and to cause the love of God in you to flow toward that other person or group of people. Pray for an opportunity to strengthen that relationship so all the entry places to your life and to that relationship remain sealed. Stop the devil from worming his way into the middle of your relationships with people you need and love! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty


Anonymous said...

Wow ..this blog speaks directly to me and couldn't have come at a better time. I've held resentment for 12 years towards someone and a situation just arose to make me feel the resentment even more. But after reading this - I feel so much relief. I am at fault because I have left a door wide open complete with a "welcome" mat in the doorway for the devil. But I feel like there is hope now. I feel a weight being lifted - God is so good. I need to shut the door take a look at myself. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

this article is pertinent to our entire generation. i have lost someone dear to cancer, i must have read a library full of books about the devestating toll that negative emotions such as resentment unforgivness and the anxiety these emotions take on us. so im convinced these emotions rob us not only of our relationships but our health. we literally make ourselfs sick with these emotions.our spiratual and emotional and physical health depend on learning how to love each other. forgive us our tresspsses as we forgive those who trespass against us. jesus help us learn how.....

Anonymous said...

7 years ago i found out that my partner of 15 yrs cheated me with some lady . a relationship with lasted 2 years + and of how it i ended have no clue. i became bitter,angry and resentful.i never healed from that relationship to this very day. i find myself obsessing about her day & night trying to figure out what was so special about her that made my partner so distant towards me. a huge wall was built. he brought her into our lives now shes gone & im left with a wound thats just not healing. it hurts. i look at her now and wish that all the horrible things could happen to her.she has her own life now, recently had a baby and i hear wedding bells are also on the way but what about me, what about the pain that still exixts in my relationship? All i want is for Jesus to help me overcome this, i want to let her partner has cheated me with so many gals but her is more profound because of the time frame, so deep in my heart something tells me he loved her over me. but i pray day n night for God to help me over this one. its hard.