‘Do not give the devil an opportunity.’ Ephesians 4:27 NASB
The Bible says, ‘Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.’ (Ephesians 4:26–27 NASB) The word translated ‘opportunity’ is the Greek word topos, the same term from which we get the English noun topography. It means territory or ground. And anger gives ground to the devil. Bitterness invites him to occupy a space in your heart. And when you do, he will move in and stink up the place with things like gossip, slander, temper—any time you see these, you have given ground to Satan.
What should you do? Evict him. Don’t give him the time of day. In the name of Jesus tell him to pack his bags and hit the road. Begin the process of forgiveness. Keep no list of wrongs. Pray for your antagonists rather than plot against them. Hate the wrong without hating the wrongdoers. Turn your attention away from what they did to you and begin to dwell on what Jesus did for you. Outrageous as it may seem, He died for them too. And if He thinks they are worth forgiving, then they are.
Does that make forgiveness easy? No. It comes in fits and starts, has good days and bad. Some days when you think your old wound has healed and you’ve gotten over it, someone will knock the scab off it and the pain will return. This is okay. When it comes to forgiveness all of us are beginners. As long as you are trying to forgive, you are forgiving. It’s only when you no longer try that you give ground to the devil.
SoulFood: Job 32–34, Luke 19:11–19, Ps 55:12–23, Pro 8:19–21
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