Don’t Give the Devil A Foothold

 

For many years, Gallup, the international analytics organization, has measured stress, worry, sadness, anger, and depression around the world. Their study is called the “World’s Negative Experience Index”. In their World News article dated July 20, 2021, they stated that “2020 set a new record for negative emotions”. Their study included more than 100 countries and shows that, collectively, the world is feeling emotionally the worse it has ever felt.

However, it is not just the pandemic era because pre-pandemic numbers showed near record highs in negative feelings also. Gallup stated, “While 2020 may have been a record-setting year for negative emotions, the world has been on a negative trajectory for almost a decade”.

Not only is the outside world being hit by negative emotions, but there is also an all-out attack against God’s Church.

But God knew there would be an attack on the emotions of His people in the greatest hour of His Church. In Ephesians 4:27, Paul says to us, “Neither give place to the devil.” Another translation says it like this: “Do not give the devil a foothold.”

Years ago, I read a Christian publication that conducted an interview with a former satanic cult member. This young man was studying to become a priest in an anti-God environment. When he found out that this dark world gave him some power, he threw himself headlong into study and worship of those dark spirits in his life. He entered a school that would teach him how to become a high priest in a certain satanic cult.

Just before the interview, he had a tremendous conversion over to Christianity and miraculously had come to know the Lord. In this interview he was describing how the devil and the spirits of this world look for a foothold where they can slip in and become strong in a person and in a church.

Then the person conducting the interview asked this question to the former satanic cult member: “What did they teach you that would help you gain power and preeminence in the cultic world? Did they teach you to hate the name of Jesus? Did they teach you to despise the Church of God?”

The young man’s response to that question shocked me. He said, “When I enrolled in their school to become a high priest in this cult, those who were teaching others and teaching me, began to teach us how to make everything around us negative. They taught us how to turn everything around. Something that was good and positive, we were taught to turn it into evil and negative.” He said, “For weeks, all I was taught, was how to be negative.”

When I read that, it brought to life the verse in Ephesians 4: Neither give place to the devil.

I must stop right here and say, the most powerful positive force in our lives is the Lord Jesus Christ!

The devil wants inroads into your life. The devil wants to find a weakness in your faith. He wants to produce some kind of situation in your personal world that will cause you to become negative in some way, which would give him a foothold in your life. He wants to break down what you’ve built up against him. He wants to come over the wall that you raised in your defense. He wants to cause you to crack the door just a little bit so somehow, he can get his foot in the door and insert his spirit of negativism into your life and into God’s Church! If we crack the door just a little, he can keep us from seeing and experiencing the great things God is about to do in our midst!

It bothers me to be around people who are always negative. It bothers me to hear about people who are always getting offended by somebody. It bothers me to know there are more negative words going out of someone’s mouth than there are praises being raised to God. Somewhere in our existence we’re going to have to shut the door and give no place to the devil!

  • In Isaiah chapter 1, the prophet Isaiah talks about threatenings.
  • In the 2nd chapter, he talks about wickedness.
  • In the 3rd chapter, he talks about calamities.
  • In the 4th chapter, he writes about distresses.
  • In the 5th chapter, he talks about God’s severe judgment.

But suddenly, in the 6th chapter, something happens to Isaiah. He doesn’t see wickedness, distress and judgment any more, but he says “I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.”

  • When you get to Isaiah chapter 7, Isaiah’s prophesying.
  • When you read chapter 8, he’s talking about comfort.
  • When you read chapter 9, he’s talking about joy.
  • When you read chapter 10, he’s talking about a remnant being saved.

My point is: In the midst of all the negative issues, Isaiah got a glimpse of the greatness of God in chapter 6, and it turned everything around for him! It raised his level of spirituality because he started talking about prophesying. It raised his emotional strength because he started talking about joy. It freed his faith to believe again because he started talking about the future of Israel.

It’s amazing the size of the chains that are attached to negativism. But what’s more amazing is how those chains fall in the presence of our Great God! Brothers and Sisters, if you’re not facing the devil’s attack of negativism now, then you can get ready to face him eventually. And you need to be ready to say, “I’m not going to give any place to the devil”!

In this world that is suffering its greatest invasion of negativity, I am more determined than ever that the devil will not get a foothold in my life! As the Louisiana District, we’re not going to talk about one another and let the devil get a foothold! We’re not going to be easily offended and give the devil a foothold! We’re not going to feel like the church owes us, when we ought to be feeling like we owe our everything to the Church and to God!

I am not going to give the devil a foothold! It’s time we get to the place where, whenever we speak, it’s about our VICTORIOUS GOD! And everything we say is REVIVAL! And everything we talk about is church growth and loving souls and pleasing God!

Don’t give the devil a foothold!