No Open Doors!July 13, 2017
Neither give place to the devil.
— Ephesians 4:27
Have you ever felt like you were under spiritual attack or that the devil was trying to wage a vicious warfare against your very existence? Today I want to talk to you about doing all you can to keep every door shut to the enemy so he is unable to find easy access into your life.
I can personally testify to many attacks that have come against our ministry and family as we have pressed forward to take new territory for the Kingdom of God over the years. I have learned that the enemy is always looking for ways to sabotage anything that is of significance to the overall plan of God. Therefore, we have had to stand our ground and fight many times. Part of a long-term protection plan against the enemy’s attacks has been making sure that we left no open doors for the enemy to find easy access to us or our ministry. Believe me when I tell you that the devil is trying find a way to sabotage everything good — so we don’t need to help him by leaving a door open for him!
Even as I write this, I am thinking of Denise and her habit of locking the doors every night before we go to bed. Even when she is home during the day, she keeps the doors locked. No one enters our home who isn’t invited. When someone arrives, they must ring the doorbell to announce his or her arrival. After we invite the visitor in, the door is locked again. Denise’s safeguarding of our home once seemed over-protective to me, but then came the time when a stranger tried to enter our home, which made me very thankful that my wife was so careful about keeping the doors locked. I can assure you that it would be very difficult for someone to enter our house without permission.
The one time a stranger tried to find entry into our home, an employee escorted him off the property. Even so, the intruder lingered a long time behind our home, waiting for our attention to drop so he could try once again to get back onto the property. But we 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, I’m sure it would have been only a short time before the person started trying to find entrance to our home again. But a locked door and an alert attitude kept our home from being penetrated by an unwanted guest.
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It 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 to our lives locked, it makes it much more difficult for the devil to find access to us. This is one reason the apostle Paul wrote, “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). This verse is full of insight about how the devil operates, and it explicitly tells us what our part is in keeping the devil from finding a way into our lives. Let’s look at this verse 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 know that it’s much easier to stop the enemy at the doorway than to try to find a way to extract him once he has found an access point to worm his way into an area of your life.
That’s why Paul so urgently warned you to give the devil no “place.” In other words, keep on alert so the enemy can’t freely access your life. Believe me, just like the stranger who lingered in the back of 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.
When Paul told us to give the devil no place, that word “place” is 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, or 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 door is closed, you’re already in good condition. If it’s locked because you are living a life of holiness and obedience, you are even in better condition. But if you are living loosely, you need to know that the door 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 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 — an entry point — through which he can access us. We must circumspectly look at our lives to see if there is any area we have 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 in our lives.
The word “devil” in Ephesians 4:27 leaves no question about the devil’s 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. This 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.
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 of him.
The devil is more committed to attack than most of us are to withstand 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 give him no “place.”
Since we know the devil is going to try 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 and continually keep watch over our lives on a sustained and continual basis, looking for any open 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 every door and makes it very 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 of our lives, those areas may become the very entry points by which the devil gains access to try to disturb our peace and stop our forward momentum.
I realize that many attacks we experience can be attributed to the devil acting in accordance with his own evil nature. But the truth is, many times we have left a door open that allows 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 they stay shut. And during those times we are under attack, it would behoove us to ask: “Holy Spirit, is there is any area in my life where I’ve left a door open and allowed this intruder to find his way in?” Before we take authority over the devil in the name of Jesus, let’s do all we can to find the access point and STOP him at the door!
If you are under attack, 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 follow Denise’s example. Spiritually close the door — and then keep it locked so no demonic attack will find its way into your affairs!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I thank You for the spiritual weapons of warfare that You have given me to resist my enemy, the devil. I see that it is essential to diligently survey my life to see if I have left any open doors that would make it easier for him to find entrance into my life and circumstances. Holy Spirit, I ask You to help me live a life of obedience so I can shut every door to deny him access. I ask You to open up my understanding as You shine the light of Your Word into my life. Help me identify and deal with areas of disobedience that may become the very entry points the devil seeks to penetrate to rob me in some way of the goodness of God manifested in my life.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that the weapons of my warfare are mighty to keep my mind protected and my life secure against the onslaughts of the wicked one. I am alert, and I keep a watchful eye on myself to guard my heart and the borders of my own life with the protective barrier of obedience to the Word and to the Spirit of God. I am not negligent but diligent to keep the doors to my life open only to God and completely closed to the devil.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Can you think of an area of your life that is currently under attack because you have left a door open? Is it possible that there is an area of disobedience the devil has been able to use to find easy entrance into your life?
- If you can identify such an area, what will you do to close that door? What concrete steps will you take to safeguard yourself against future successful assaults?
- Have you studied the weapons of God in Ephesians 6:10-18? Do you know what weapons God has given you to stand up and fight against the attacks of the devil? If not, I highly advise you to take time to study my book Dressed to Kill, as it explicitly describes how the devil attacks, what these spiritual weapons are, and how to use them!