Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Giving Place to the Devil

I have been studying through the book of Ephesians and have come across some beautiful gems of truth. Sometime, I would like to compile them and share them with you all, but for now, here is my study from today. Feel free to share your thoughts and what God has shown you in your personal Bible study.

Ephesians 4:16-17
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.

To give place means " a spot (general in space, but limited by occupancy; whereas NT:5561 is a large but participle locality), i.e. location (as a position, home, tract, etc.); figuratively, condition, opportunity; specifically, a scabbard:" (NT: 5117, topos) This Greek word gives the idea that the "place" is a temporary position. As believers, we cannot become possessed by the devil, because Christ and the devil cannot dwell in the same place. However, we can give place - a small part of our life - to the devil. In context, there are two ways in which to do this: 1) Sinning in our anger, and 2) Letting the sun set on our wrath.

There are other verses that deal with the believer and satan.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11, "To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
If we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts, we are giving satan an opportunity to get an advantage of us.

Ephesians 6:11, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
If we do not embrace the armor of God, we cannot stand against the wiles of the devil. The armor of God is: truth, righteousness, Gospel of peace, faith, salvation, Word of God, and prayer.

Ephesians 6:16, "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
Faith quenches the devil's darts. If we are bowing down under the weight of his attack, perhaps we should cry out to God to increase our faith.
1 Peter 5:8-9 is not the next passage in this context, but applies to Ephesians 6:16, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."
Again, the attack of the devil is linked to our faith. We are to resist (oppose, stand against) while stedfast in the faith. If we are not steadfast in faith, we have no shield by which to resist.

And then another verse about resisting the devil:
James 4:7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
We can oppose and stand against the devil. But it is interesting to see what this command is sandwiched between: Humility (vs. 6), submission (vs. 7), drawing nigh to God (vs. 8), and cleansing/purifying ourselves (vs. 8). Can we resist the devil if we are proud, independent, not trying to draw nigh to God, and living in the filthiness of our flesh?

Considering all of these verses, to keep from giving place to the devil, we must check our walk with God.
-Are we forgiving our brother?
-Have we been faithful to put on truth, righteousness, Gospel of peace, faith, salvation, Word of God, and prayer?
-Has our faith wavered from God?
-What is our heart like towards God? Have we sought to draw nigh to Him in humility, and submission while cleansing and purifying our hands and heart?

As believers, we don't have to struggle under the oppression of the devil - God has given us a way to escape if we will but follow His Word!

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