Make the devil leave

21 March 2019
‘Do not give the devil a foothold.’

The Bible says, ‘“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,and do not give the devil a foothold’ (vv. 26-27 NIV). The word translated ‘foothold’ in the NIV version is the Greek word topos. It means a place, territory, or ground. And anger gives ground to the devil. Bitterness invites him to occupy a space in our hearts. This makes us prone to things like gossip, negative talk, and lying. We know that we shouldn’t let the devil have room in our hearts, but it can be hard to keep him out. Our human nature makes us more likely to become angry and frustrated in situations where we should show grace. When we get hurt by others, we find it’s harder to forgive them than it is to remain bitter and resentful. But when we notice the devil has got a ‘foothold’ in our lives, we need to make him leave. So how do we do that? We need to begin the process of forgiveness, avoid making mental lists of the things people have done to us, and pray for those we struggle to get along with rather than plot against them. We need to turn our attention away from what they did to us and begin to focus on what Jesus did for us. We should never forget that He died for them too. And if He thinks they’re worth forgiving, then they are. Forgiveness isn’t easy. Some days when we think we’ve healed and moved on, something can happen that makes the pain return. And then we have to start the process of forgiving again. As long as we’re trying to forgive, love, and become more like Christ, we’re not giving the devil a ‘foothold’ in our lives.

 

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