From His Heart - Week of September 5

HAVE YOU OPENED THE DOOR FOR THE DEVIL?

"Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity [place]."  Ephesians 4:26-27

Do you remember the movie Cujo?  It was a scary movie about a rabid, crazed St. Bernard who went on the attack.  Cujo spent most of the movie terrorizing a woman and her asthmatic son.  They ended up trapped in their car in the driveway of a lonely farm house.  Anytime the mom opened her car door to attempt a dash into the farm house, Cujo would be all over her.  She had to continually run back to the car and quickly slam the door, lest crazy Cujo get inside and maul her and her son to death.  Without question, Cujo had to stay outside, or else it would be curtains!

The devil is Cujo on a zillion steroids.  He is prowling about, seeking someone to devour.  If you allow him to come inside your home, your life, your marriage, your family, your business ... you will experience massive devastation.  Jesus told us that the devil is a thief who "comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy" (John 10:10).

Of course, no one would be so foolish as to leave the door open so Satanic Cujo could come in, would they?  Tragically, people do it all the time.   

DO YOU HAVE THE DOOR OPEN FOR THE DEVIL?

What are the ways people open the door to the devil?

1.  Unresolved anger.  If you let the sun go down on your anger, that anger turns to resentment and bitterness.  A resentful, bitter heart is a comfortable, inviting nest for the foul birds of hell.  

2.  Rebellion toward authority.  The Bible tells us that "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft" (1 Samuel 15:23).  If you refuse to submit to the authorities God has purposely placed in your life, you are acting just like the devil, the original rebel who led a revolt against the God of heaven.       

3.  Willful disobedience.  If you are walking in willful, known disobedience, the Bible makes it clear that you are walking in the darkness, not the light (see 1 John 1).  A walk in the darkness is a walk with the devil, the Prince of Darkness.  

4.  Provision for the Flesh.  Romans 13:14 tells us, "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh with regard to its lusts."  What does it mean to make provision for the flesh?  If, for example, you are struggling with alcohol, yet you still keep alcohol in your house, you are making provision for the flesh and will never conquer that demon.  Whatever you are struggling with - drugs, sexual immorality, gambling, unhealthy relationships, junk food - if you don't make a clean and decisive break from that which is destroying you, you will never break free, no matter how much you "pray about it."   

ENCOURAGEMENT

Let me encourage you to search your heart to see if any of these issues are present within you.  If so, confess it to God and a trusted friend.  You see, we receive forgiveness when we humbly and repentantly confess our sin to God ... and we receive healing when we boldly drag our sin out from the shadows and confess it to another believer (see James 5:16).

Grant forgiveness and seek forgiveness so that any root of bitterness can be removed.  Put yourself under God's authority and the human authorities He has ordained for you.  Don't rebel, submit.  Make needed changes in your life and relationships.  Do whatever is necessary to slam the door on the devil!  Don't give him a place in your life because nothing but heartache and pain comes when Cujo is allowed inside.

Love,                                          

Pastor Jeff Schreve

From His Heart Ministries                             

P.S. Click www.fromhisheart.org/pray and allow us and hundreds from all over the world to join you in prayer.

Jeff Schreve founded From His Heart Ministries, www.fromhisheart.org, in 2005 with the vision to reach as many people as possible with the good news of God's love. Jeff believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a great plan just for you. He broadcast on radio, TV and in the internet around the world from his pulpit ministry as Pastor of First Baptist in Texarkana, Texas. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.

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