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Pointers along the way #586

Giving no place to the Devil
- Jacob Ninan

Our adversary, the Devil, is on the lookout for those he can attack (1Pe.5:8). He comes to steal and destroy (Jn.10:10), and he does this through deception (2Th.2:9,10). All his fury against God for exposing him and throwing him out of heaven is now directed at us, God's people (Re.12:17). Though Jesus has overcome the Devil and all demons publicly on the cross (Co.2:15), and He is able to keep us from falling (Jude.24), our victory over the Devil is not automatic or to be taken for granted. It is possible for us to give access to the Devil in our lives by our carelessness with sin.

Ep.4:26,27 warns us not to give an opportunity to the Devil by continuing in anger without settling it. 'Not letting the sun go down on our anger' is not giving us a time limit but it is just a way of telling us to overcome our anger quickly. If we continue with our anger, the Devil will be able to stir it up further by pumping in ideas to our mind, and if we keep yielding to such suggestions without a fight, he may even get control of our mind in that area.

Another example the Bible gives is a warning about continuing in an unforgiving attitude towards someone who has done something against us because this can also be taken advantage of by the Devil to strengthen his attack against us (2Co.2:10,11).

We mustn't think that these are the only two areas we have to be careful about in our defence against the Devil. What these examples teach us is that we shouldn't be continuing in any sin because that would expose us to the Devil's attack. We shouldn't imagine that we can continue in whatever 'weaknesses' we may have, and still face no consequence! Jesus is able to keep us from falling, but we shouldn't take that for granted.

Continued indulgences in sin create strongholds of the Devil in our lives. By continued yielding to temptations our defences in those areas become weak, and it becomes easy for the Devil to make us fall any time he wants.

By the authority of the name of Jesus which He has given to His disciples (Lk.10:19), we can command the Devil to move out of our lives. But that doesn't rebuild our defences automatically. If the walls of our fortress have been broken down in some places, they have to be built up again, stone by stone. In the places where we have yielded carelessly to temptations in the past, now we have to learn to resist and overcome them. God doesn't make it easy for us by building these walls for us, or by helping us to build them up fast (De.7:22). He trains our hands to war (Ps.18:34), but He wants us to strengthen our spiritual muscles by actually using them (He.5:14). We have to learn to lean on God who alone can give us strength for the battle, and we also need to learn how to fight against the Devil by resisting him when he comes against us with his temptations (Jas.4:7). It is not a cakewalk. But even if we have fallen much, He won't forsake us (He.13:5). And so, we must take up the battle!


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