Welcome to 2019! I realize we’re entering the second month of the calendar year, but I just want to encourage you that this year is going to be the best year of your life. I declare it to you in Jesus’ name!
But to make sure you have a solid start for the year, I feel the need to urge you to do all you can to keep every door shut to the enemy so that he is unable to find access to your life. There are practical, biblical ways to ensure you give him no opening, or entry point, into your affairs.
I’ll never forget the time a stranger tried to find entry into our home. It was a horrible moment. Although one of our employees eventually escorted that person off the property, the would-be intruder lingered a long time behind our home, waiting for our attention to drop and for another opportunity to get back onto the property and inside our home!
But Denise and I stayed alert and didn’t relax our guard until that intruder was long gone. Had we not been diligent to stay alert on that occasion, it would have been only a short time before the person would have tried to find entrance into our home again. However, a locked door and an alert attitude kept our home from being penetrated by this unwanted guest.
That may seem like a simplistic example, but an “open door” is exactly what the devil is looking for in each of our lives. If we are diligent to keep the doors shut and locked, it is much more difficult for him to find access to us. This is one reason the apostle Paul wrote, “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). This short verse is full of insight about how the devil operates, and it explicitly tells us what our part is in keeping him from finding a way into our lives.
Let’s look at this verse more closely and see what it tells us. First, when Paul wrote, “Neither give place to the devil,” it was not a suggestion; it was a command. If you’ve ever come under spiritual assault and found the devil in the middle of your affairs, you understand the value of stopping the enemy at the doorway rather than finding a way to extract him once he has found an access point to worm his way into some area of your life.
That’s why Paul so urgently warned you to give the devil no place. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul told you to stay alert so that the enemy can’t freely access your life. Believe me, just like the stranger who lingered behind our property, waiting for us to drop our guard and relax our level of alertness, the devil will linger a long time to see if you are truly serious about keeping him out of your life.
That word “place” in Ephesians 4:27 is from the Greek word topos. It describes a specific, marked-off location. But rather than a physical location that we use a map to identify, this “place” may refer to a rough spot in our relationships, our finances, our thoughts, our personal habits, or to lingering areas of disobedience. Whatever it is, it’s an identifiable location that the devil seeks to find and use as an open door into our lives.
If the doors to your life are closed to the best of your knowledge, you’re already in good condition. If they’re closed because you’re deliberately living a life of holiness and obedience, you’re in an even better condition. But if you’re living loosely, you need to know that some door to your life is not only unlocked — it is likely standing wide open, literally inviting the enemy to come in and wreak havoc in your life! This is why you must be so circumspect in answering the question: Are there any open doors I need to close that will allow the enemy access to my life?
We need to be serious about our lives because the devil is always looking for a door, a window, or a crack — any entry point — through which he can access us. We must circumspectly look at our lives to see if there’s any area we’ve left open or unguarded that has allowed the devil to find a way to attack us. These types of “places” are the open doors he seeks.
The word “devil” in Ephesians 4:27 leaves no question about his intention to attack us as believers. It is the Greek word diabolos, which is a compound of dia and ballo. The word dia means through, as in all the way through an object. The second part of the word “devil” is from the word ballo, which means to throw, to hurl, to inject, or even to beat. When these two words are compounded to form the word diabolos, the new word categorically means that the devil is one who strikes repetitiously — trying to find a way to break through into our worlds and mess up our lives.
IS THE DEVIL MORE COMMITTED TO ATTACK YOU
THAN YOU ARE TO WITHSTAND HIM ?
This word diabolos vividly reveals the devil’s tenacity. He is so committed to our destruction that if he doesn’t easily find his way into our lives, he will linger and wait for us to drop our guard so he can try again, perhaps from another vantage point. The Greek emphatically means he’ll even try to beat his way inside if that is what is required.
In many cases, the devil is more committed to attacking us than most of us are committed to withstanding him. That’s why he is often so successful in the warfare he wages against us. And that is why the apostle Paul commands us to resist him and to give him no place!
Since we know the devil is trying to find a way to gain entry into our lives, we must use the weapons of warfare God has given us to resist him (see Ephesians 6:10-18). But it is likewise essential that we diligently keep watch over our lives on a sustained and continual basis, looking for any doors we may have left open that would make it easier for the enemy to find entrance.
One thing is certain: Living a life of obedience shuts doors and makes it more difficult for the devil to find entry into our lives. On the other hand, we must also acknowledge that if we are living in disobedience in any area, those areas may become the very entry points by which the devil gains access to disturb our peace and to try to stop our forward momentum and even bring destruction in our lives.
THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL HELP YOU CLOSE
DOORS TO THE DEVIL AND KEEP THEM CLOSED!
In light of this, let’s do all we can to find the access point and STOP him at the door! I realize that many attacks we experience can be attributed to the devil as he beats on the door trying to attack us from the outside. But the truth is, many times we have left a door open that has allowed the enemy to find his way into our lives and launch his fiery darts from an inside position. It’s up to us to do all we can to shut every door and to make sure those doors stay shut. And during those times we are under attack, it would behoove us to ask: “Holy Spirit, is there any area in my life where I’ve left a door open and allowed this intruder to find his way in?”
As you’re getting started in this new year, I want you to know that you can stand strong in the Lord, confident that the weapons of warfare given to you will enable you to successfully repel the enemy in the name of Jesus Christ. But if you have knowingly, negligently, or ignorantly left a door open that allows the enemy access, there is always the possibility of a successful attack against your life. So I urge you to close the door so that no demonic attack will find its way into your affairs!
If you find the devil has already found entrance into some area of your life, it’s not too late. Using the Word of God and the authority of Jesus’ name, you can drive him back out. And if you need someone to pray with you to do it, we are here to pray the prayer of faith with you. Just let us know, and we’ll add our faith to yours. Jesus has a mighty victory for you in every area of your life!
Oh, we are so thankful for you! We are grateful for your friendship and partnership in the Gospel, for your prayers, and for your financial contributions that help us do this amazing work God has entrusted to us!
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families