Oh boy! I can almost hear the rumblings in the Spirit. She’s done lost it. But have I?
The Bible is very clear about who our enemy is, what his plans are, what his activities are and who he seeks. I’ll grant you this observation about birds, you can’t stop them from flying over your heads, but you can stop them from nesting. The only possible way for them to set up shop, is by your permission. You have to surrender your head to be used as a nesting place. The same applies to Satan. He can’t just waltz into our lives and take over, we have to grant permission, in the same way that God did when he came gunning for Job.
The difference between what happened to Job and what happens to believers who choose to set out the welcome mat for Satan is this one fact, Job had no idea about what was happening to him. He was doing everything to reverence and honor God. A person who willingly makes provision in their lives for satanic control, is not ignorant of their decision. To walk away from the Lord and stubbornly decide that what they want is more important than doing the will of God opens the door to the devil.
Here are some things that will provide a welcoming environment for Satan. Unbelief, unforgiveness, anger, malice, strife, jealousy, selfishness, stubbornness,rebellion, but, there’s another list that Paul warns about. And those practicing these things have made room for Satan. Let’s look at the list before I share our main scripture.
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
This list is found in Galatians 5 and ties in with the things I’ve shared. If these things are present in us, its an opportunity for the devil to make his nest in us. It matters not that you have been in church all your life, it doesn’t even matter that you’re a preachers’ kid, that you’re an avid reader of scriptures and have them memorized. A crack in our spiritual armor is a gaping hole to Satan and an invitation for his control. The scripture I alluded to earlier gives this warning.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. ” 1 Peter 5:8-9a NLT
Looking for and taking possession of is not the same thing. I can window shop all day long, but until I actually take possession of what I’m looking at, it doesn’t belong to me. I may even try it on, but unless I meet the requirement for actually owning it, it’s not mine. Satan cannot possess you unless you create the environment that gives him access to you. The dress in the window is in the possession of the owners of the store unless or until I go in, try it on and pay the required amount to make it my own. Another scenario is, the current owner saw that I have been window shopping and decided to give me the dress for free. Satan sees us toying with some of the things listed above, hears the things we speak or complain about. He notices that we keep window shopping with sin, and as soon as we step over the line he creates the opportunity for us to get what we want and wham! He’s now in control. Possession is that easy, we don’t need to eat the whole fruit all we need is a bite. He doesn’t need a wide open door, all he needs is a window.
Now let’s look at what happened to a close follower of Jesus. He spent a lot of time traveling with Jesus, hearing all the warnings and instructions Jesus gave them as far as what to look out for to guard themselves against certain temptations. This was a group without excuses as far as entrapment was concerned. They had witnessed it first hand. They knew of the daily plots against Jesus. They had seen the attempts that were made to end His life. People who had welcomed Satan into their lives through jealousy and hatred of the truth were looking for someone within His circle who was disgruntled, and would be willing to sell Him out. Be careful who you get close to when you’re complaining against your leaders. They may just be agents of Satan sent to use you for their evil desires.
We need to guard our hearts. We may not like how things are being done. But there’s One Leader, and we follow Him so that Satan will never make us partner with him to betray our Lord.
“The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction. Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest Him when the crowds weren’t around.”
Luke 22:1-6 NLT
Whenever we read scriptures, we must be careful not to believe that these things happened suddenly. Sin is a plot that is thoughtfully planned out. Judas’ meetings were being carried out in secret over time. It wasn’t known to the eleven, but it was known to Jesus. We know this because of something Jesus said.
“But some of you do not believe Me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and He knew who would betray Him.) Then He said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to Me unless the Father gives them to Me.” At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know You are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus said, “I chose the twelve of you, but one is a devil.”
John 6:64-70 NLT
Unbelief is the greatest opportunity in the life of a believer and nonbelievers. Satan capitalizes on it. Judas was in the inner circle, yet he didn’t believe in Jesus or His message.He could’ve left like the others, but he chose to stay around, he was even sent on a missions trip with the others. (Luke 9) He grudgingly hung around for the benefits but wasn’t convinced. He wanted a revolution, Jesus wanted restoration. The only One he couldn’t fool was the One who chose him. Hanging around the church does not make you a believer. Judas had the same opportunity the other twelve had, he chose instead to be used by Satan. He had the same feelings of jealousy and rage as the Pharisees and leaders in Israel. Jesus wasn’t a conformist He was a transformer. We are called to go and do likewise. To choose another way or option, is to join His opposition. Judas was a secret agent for Satan, God has no secret saints. He was in the open about His purpose and so should we be.
Have you made room for Satan whilst sitting in God’s house week after week? Have you chosen a lifestyle of betrayal over a life of submission? Have you yielded to the conduct of Galatians five dabbling in the things that war against the Spirit? A little leven levens the whole lump. A little sin will spread like cancer throughout the entire body. Be careful of the thoughts you’re entertaining, it may be the opportunity the devil needs to enter and take control of your life. Satan will always be our best cheerleader until he gets his mission accomplished. He doesn’t care if we hang ourselves, his job is to devour, kill, steal and destroy. Whenever the Holy Spirit exposes our hearts, we shouldn’t shrug it off. We should humble ourselves and allow the Lord to do His complete work in us, repent of all known sin and change course before it’s too late. Judas’ buyers' remorse came too little too late. He went repenting to the wrong people. They, like Satan, got what they wanted.
Pick up the welcome mat, shut the door, seal the cracks. Get serious about your walk with God. Satan’s job is to prowl, but we don’t need to be an easy target. Quit murmuring and complaining against the Lord because you didn’t get your way or what you wanted. He chose you for a purpose, stay the course and put the devil on the run. Say like Jesus, “he can come, but he will find no place in me.” John 14:30
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
August 23, 2021