“and give no opportunity to the devil”. Ephesians 4:27
I am sure I have read this passage before and certainly heard it in the context of anger. Tonight it really spoke to me from Rick Renner’s book Sparkling Gems “Don’t Give Place to the Devil”. He listed several areas where we leave a place for the enemy to come into our territory. He makes the point that in the Greek language the scripture makes it clear it is a choice we make to give opportunity to the devil.
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon. STRONGS NT 5117 – topos – opportunity, power, occasion for acting:
So we give Satan his opportunity, his power, or his occasion for acting based on our choices. It’s no wonder Scripture tells us to take every thought captive. Our thoughts feed into our feelings, and then we act on those feelings.
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”. 2 Corinthians 10:5
Mahatma Gandhi said “beliefs become thoughts, thoughts become words, words become action, actions become habits, habits become values, values become your destiny.” While I’m not sure I agree with Gandhi’s linear thinking, I do agree that thoughts are the starting path to our destiny. When we follow a thought too far it can become a destiny.
I have to be careful where I choose to keep my focus when a thought comes to me. Otherwise I might chase it until I make it true. I don’t want to give power or opportunity to the enemy in my life. I don’t want him acting in my life at all. Too often, I start to blame the enemy instead of just taking back The power I gave to him in the first place.
I have to be careful with areas I take casually. Areas where I have been desensitized by “normal” and easily give him opportunity. It may not look like anger and unforgiveness in my life anymore, but I have to keep guard that I am not opening the door. I think of childhood song “shut the door, keep out the devil.” we used to sing at kid’s camp. I am the only one who can shut the door to giving the enemy access to any of my life.
Prayer – Lord, reveal to me any areas where I have given the devil access or opportunity to my life. Help me to see and have the strength to shut the door. And then Lord’s fill those areas of my life with godly thoughts so there is no room for him when he returns. Amen