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Tag: faithful

Don’t Give the Devil a Foothold

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“Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” Ephesians 4:26b-27 (NLT, 2nd edition).

When you give the Devil a foothold into your life, he takes a stronghold. What does that mean? If you give Satan control of one little part of your life, he will soon take over the whole thing. You give him a foothold into your life, and he turns it into a stronghold.

Let me explain it this way: On D-Day, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. It was critical that they establish a beachhead — that is, a foothold on the beach that would allow them to set up a staging area to bring in more men and equipment for the battle. From that tiny foothold, the Allied forces were able to push inland in an effort to liberate France.

But Satan isn’t trying to liberate you. He wants to establish a foothold in your life in order to take over more and more of your life. Once he gets deep enough into an area of sin, he turns the foothold into a stronghold, and that makes it harder for you to take back control of your life.

How does Satan get a foothold in your life? In Ephesians 4:27, the example is anger, but it could be any negative emotion. If you fill your life with worry, he’s gained a foothold in your life. If you fill your life with resentment, he’s gained a foothold in your life. If you allow guilt to turn into shame, Satan has a foothold in your life.

The Apostle Paul says the best way to deal with these negative emotions is immediately. He says, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26b-27 NLT, 2nd edition). You make a choice to deal with it right away.

Otherwise, the negative emotion will fester in your heart and give Satan the opportunity to establish a foothold in your life.

Talk It Over

  • What negative emotion have you allowed the Devil to use to take a foothold in your life? Or, what emotion has the potential to become a foothold for the Devil?
  • What does it mean for a negative emotion to fester in your life?
  • How can you be proactive about dealing with negative emotions that may arise in your life?

By Rick Warren
Used by Permission

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Finding the Good in Conflict

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Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark…They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.” Acts 15:36-37,39

Conflict. Conflict among believers? Conflict among Christian leaders! When we read the powerful stories of the Holy Spirit’s movements in Acts, this episode between Paul and Barnabas stands out as a blemish.

By now they had ministered in many cities throughout the Roman Empire, silenced a false prophet, explained Jesus’ place in Jewish history, performed miracles, and been mistaken as Zeus and Hermes (Greek gods). And they had weathered rejection, abusive language, even stoning. But in Pamphylia, their third partner, John Mark, suddenly left them to go home to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13).

That became a sore point. Acts 15:38 states Paul didn’t think having John Mark rejoin them was a wise decision. Perhaps Paul didn’t wish to trust a deserter with so much on the line. Paul had churches to visit, sermons to preach, Jews and Gentiles to enlighten about the Good News of Jesus. He valued gospel proclamation. Barnabas, it seems, wanted to give John Mark a second chance, to mend a fence, to build up a young believer who probably felt horrible about ditching them.

We can learn a few lessons here:

We may be called to unity of purpose (Romans 5:5-6), but our means might differ. Both Paul’s big picture approach and Barnabas’ relational one grew the church.

Conflict may be difficult, but good can come of it. In this case, Paul and Silas went one direction, and Barnabas and Mark another — all to visit new churches in order to build them up.

Conflict is a part of life, and good-meaning people rub each other the wrong way routinely. The question is how we will deal with it — either destructively or constructively?

Dear God, please help me see that conflict with people may be your way of growing me and people around me. May I not wish it away, or run from it, but may I find your good in it. Amen.

By Bill Strom
Used by Permission www.thelife.com/dailydevotions

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