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Does Satan Have a Foothold?

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And do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4:27

When we give Satan a foothold, we are opening the door for sin, advancing to spiritual death. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13–15 NLT)

We stay alert so we can be aware if Satan is attempting to establish a foothold. Satan tempts us with basically two types of footholds: (1) sinful behavior that we know is sinful and (2) justifiable behavior that is sinful to God but not to us. 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)

Behavior we know is sinful can be consciously justified as rebellion, or it can be a reaction to an emotion like anger. An emotional reaction is a learned behavior that over time God can heal.  Behavior we don’t know is sinful, possibly due to our own justification or due to our oversight, may occur when God puts it on our hearts to encourage someone or pray for someone and we do not obey. We may justify our behavior therefore not identifying the behavior as sinful. Some other examples are missing church service, missing Bible class, not studying the Bible, not praying, being complacent, or being prideful. We may justify these sins to the point that we no longer notice the conviction of the Holy Spirit. This is a dangerous spiritual position. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. (James 4:17)

Satan is very devious, tempting us to develop sinful footholds. Sinful footholds may occur in our lives without us even noticing. The danger is that a sinful foothold leads to more sins. Accountability to our Christian brothers is critical because we don’t always see ourselves as God sees us or as others see us. Daily examination of our behavior and prayer, asking God to reveal any sinful footholds, is essential to maintain our walk with the Lord.  Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23–24)

Today step outside of yourself and seek to see yourself as God sees you. The more we can see ourselves from God’s viewpoint, from the spiritual side, the more Christ-like we can become, and the more we can see Satan’s footholds.  Satan is always after us to justify some little thing in our life that is not pleasing to God. All Satan wants is a small justification, hoping we will take the bait.

Prayer: Lord, guide me in the Spirit today to overcome Satan’s attempts to get a foothold into my life. Give me your strength and wisdom, so Satan will not trap me into sinful behavior. Help me to remain free in Christ, because I cannot be free if Satan has a foothold. In Jesus name, Amen