27 Neither give place to the devil.
The devil always attempts to influence and control Christians. He wants us to rebel against our Saviour and His people. So he strives to overpower and use us for his evil purposes. He is a wily character. If he could, he would use us to bring dishonour and shame to the Lord’s name and to disrupt the peace and effectiveness of the church.
He always looks for opportunities that he can take advantage of. He first studies our infirmities, temperaments, desires, ambitions, propensities, etc.; he then plans his move to assault us. He is a determined enemy. He is resolved to ruin our testimony and stop us from serving our Lord. If the devil gains the upper hand, he will ruin our spiritual pursuits, relationships and testimony. Let us not doubt his resoluteness to destroy us.
The devil has been a deceiver, and is still the same today. If anything, he is more dreaded than before. He will try to dupe us to gain access to ensnare us. He knows how to make the best of his opportunities. Though the devil is not omnipresent, he carries out his evil works through his many agents and tricks. If he gets one foothold, he would try to push his way in. If we allow one sin, no matter how small we may think it is, it will keep up the devil’s interest. One sin makes room for more temptations of sin from the devil. Richard Baxter, a Puritan preacher, said, “One sin inclineth the mind to more. If one thief be in the house, he will let in the rest, because they have the same disposition and design.”
We can be sure that the devil never means good, but always evil. The more we yield to Satan’s temptations, the stronger will be his influence, and the greater will be his control of our hearts. Therefore, we should always be vigilant to deny him any opportunity. We must strain every nerve to resist him. The apostle James exhorted us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). If we are always careful to submit to God, the devil will find no room in our lives to exploit us.
Let us not feel obliged to yield to his ploys. Let us remember that he will use all his agents and devices against us. Be resolved to fight a good fight of faith against the devil and all his agents. We must know that we can conquer, if we will, through Christ. Let us vigilantly and prayerfully live our lives to deny the devil – our chief adversary – any advantage over us.