With summer here in Arizona, every day is an attempt to keep my little boys busy with the goal of staying out of the heat! Not so much for their sake…but mine! Unfortunately this is not really a possibility considering the number of hours in a day and the max hours I can keep 2 active boys cooped up in the house!
So I recently took Connor and Bryce to a nearby park…at 10am. FYI…for my non-Arizonians…it is already over 90 degrees at 10am!
At the park, there was a huge play structure with numerous slides, monkey bars, swings, and a rock climbing wall. My youngest Bryce was determined to climb this rock wall. It wasn’t very high…but to a 3 year old it certainly looked high and was a challenge to conquer!
I stood behind Bryce as he began climbing this rock wall. I noticed that he had to make sure that one foot rested on a peg before he could reach for another peg with his other foot and both arms. Bryce needed this peg…this foothold… to continue up the rock wall. If he was unable to rest his foot on this foothold…he got stuck and called for me. Resting his little foot on a peg and having this foothold was necessary for Bryce to progress further and eventually accomplish this endeavor of climbing to the top of the rock wall.
A “foothold” is defined as “a secure position, especially a firm basis for further progress or development.”
The term “foothold” and its definition may not sound too interesting unless you are interested in rock climbing…like Bryce. However, there is great importance and implication if you are a Christian.
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
Ephesians 4:26-27 clearly talks about the devil having a foothold….and even though this scripture specifically talks about anger and sinning in your anger….there are many ways the devil can enter into areas of our lives and have a foothold.
I don’t know about you…but understanding Ephesians 4:27 with the context of the word “foothold”…does not comfort me at all. If the devil has a foothold in an area of your life that means he has a secure position there!
Ok, like that isn’t enough to make you a little concerned….the foothold…according to the definition…also gives the devil a firm basis for further progress or development!
Are you aware of any footholds in your life? Are you aware of any areas in your life that the devil has a secure position?
So why exactly does the devil want to have a foothold in our lives? Because as humans we were created in the image of God…and the devil doesn’t like that!
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 NIV
As Christians, we are God’s children…and if the devil…the enemy…Satan…whatever you wish to call him…can’t stop you from being a Christian, he will try to prevent you from growing…from sharing God’s Word and the truth with others…and from living in God’s promises of peace and joy.
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy… John 10:10 NLT
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
The devil is after every area in our lives…marriage, relationships, health, money, employment, business, and ministry. The devil wants it all but in order for him to conquer these areas in our lives, he has to find an opportunity…he has to find a point of entry into these areas.
It’s interesting to note that Ephesians 4:27 says… do not give the devil a foothold. That means that the devil doesn’t just have a foothold but that we give him a foothold!
We can give the devil this opportunity…this point of entry… in numerous ways…without even knowing it. Sin…the most obvious way the enemy is given an opportunity… as well as other such examples listed below are ways that we can give the devil an opportunity to have a foothold in our lives.
Unforgiveness, fear, depression, anxiety/worry, jealousy, insecurity, comparison, pride, anger, bitterness, and resentment are just some of these examples.
…So the activity of the devil demands vigilance and self-control on all occasions, and especially on those on which the devil is most apt to try to get a foothold. The reference to the devil is not a figure, but an obvious recognition of his personality, and of the liability of all Christians to fall under his influence. Pulpit Commentary
Such examples can drive a wedge in areas of our lives…which is exactly what the devil wants to do. He knows that these examples give him the opportunity to enter in our lives and steal our peace and joy and hold us back from walking into the plans and purposes God has for us.
He knows that unforgivenesss holds onto our past hurts and pain and prevents us from God’s healing….
He knows that fear can paralyze us from having faith and moving forward in the plans and purposes God has for us…
He knows that depression brings us to a place of strong discouragement, despair and eventual defeat preventing us from having hope and even carrying out normal day to day functions…
He knows that anxiety/worry focuses on our problems, takes our focus off God, and can also affect our health…
He knows jealousy focuses on the fear of losing something or someone valuable to you and prevents us from having healthy relationships…
He knows insecurity focuses on what we can’t do and prevents us from moving forward and leading with our weaknesses…
He knows that comparison causes us to focus on who and what we aren’t or what we do not have causing discontentment and prevents us from knowing who we are and the unique gifts that God has blessed us with…
He knows that pride focuses on ourselves, our own abilities, and our strengths instead of on God and glorifying Him…
He knows anger is a damaging emotion that can affect our marriages and families with negative consequences…
He knows bitterness and resentment can be deeply rooted in our hearts and ruin our marriages and relationships and prevents us from loving others…
Have any of these examples given the devil an opportunity into areas of your life such as in your marriage, relationships, health, money, employment, business, or ministry?
It is so important that we acknowledge these ways so we can take the necessary steps to close the door on the devil. As Christians we have been given the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome sin and these other areas we may struggle with. It is through God’s power that we can be strengthened to fight against the devil and his schemes. We can’t do it alone!!!
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 NIV
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. Romans 8:37 NLT
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2Corinthians 12:9 NLT
If we are in sin, we must ask God for forgiveness and repent (turn away from our sin). If we are struggling to turn away from a specific sin in our life or if we are just struggling in an area of our life, pray for God to strengthen you and help you. It’s also important to turn to other Christians that you trust to pray with you…support you…and hold you accountable.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16 NIV
We can prevent the devil from getting a foothold in areas of our lives. We can prevent the devil from having the opportunity to destroy our marriages, relationships, health, money, employment, business, or ministry!
Turn to God today and ask Him to strengthen you! Let’s not give the devil a foothold!
- Are you aware of any footholds in your life? Are you aware of any areas of your life that the devil has secured his position?
- Has unforgiveness, fear, depression, anxiety/worry, jealousy, insecurity, comparison, pride, anger, bitterness, or resentment given the devil a way to enter into areas of your life?
- Has any of the above examples affected your marriage, relationships, health, money, employment, business, or ministry?
- If you have recognized any of the above examples affecting any areas of your life…what are you doing to close the door on the devil?
- If you believe the devil has a foothold in your life, the first step is to recognize how he has been given the opportunity.
- Determine if he has been given an opportunity through sin or other areas you are struggling with. Confess your sin to God, ask for forgiveness and repent (turn away) from your sin. Use God’s Word to be strengthened by studying and reminding yourself of scriptures that are specific to your area of struggle.
- Find a Christian friend that you trust who can pray with you, encourage you, and help you overcome your struggles.
- Pray and ask God to help you and be strengthened to close any doors that the devil is waiting to be given an opportunity to enter. Be encouraged that you aren’t fighting the devil on your own! You have been given the power and strength of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s Word! If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31 NLT