No foothold for the enemy
'Do not give the devil a foothold.' Ephesians 4:27 NIV
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' (Ephesians 4:26-27 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.
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, it's harder to forgive than it is to remain bitter and resentful. But if we realise the devil has a 'foothold' in our lives, we need to make him leave. How? By beginning the process of forgiveness, avoiding making mental lists of the 'wrongs' people have done to us, and praying for those we struggle to get along with. We need to turn our attention away from what they did to us and focus on what Jesus did for us. Jesus 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, then something happens that makes the pain return. We then have to start the process of forgiving again. When we're actively trying to forgive, love and become more Christlike, we're not giving the devil a 'foothold' in our lives.
So what now? Is there someone you need to forgive? Ask God to help you begin the process of forgiveness today.
Soulfood: Job 11-14, Matt 24:26-35, Ps 13, Pro 8:14-16