Please Note: This message was originally published on June 6, 2011. It has been modified to align with current standards and formatting. The Reflection section has also slightly been modified to emphasize points that best tie in to the scriptural selection. Today’s message also now includes an audio feature that allows you to hear this message spoken by Natasha.
and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:27 NIV
The devil is a liar.
Father You have said it and proved it. “it” tempts us to go against You. “it” tempts us to stray from Your path. “it” tempts us to disrespect Your holy name. “it” tempts us to disrupt our lives. “it” tempts us to lose a great thing for a few quick moments of ecstasy. “it” tempts us to change our righteous ways. “it” tempts us to seek self-gratification and self-interests without concern for what You want and ask of us. “it” will ruin a marriage, a relationship, a family, a friendship, and a business if given the power.
Father show me how to not give “it” power. Show me how to stand strong and tall and say, “you are a liar devil and you have no purpose or place in my world. Get out now.” Father show me how to not give in to the emotional games it plays; how not to give in to depressing and oppressive thoughts and feelings. Father show me how to follow Your light even when “it” tells me that I’m too weak, not ready, not capable, too young, too old, or too inexperienced in life to handle what You are offering. Strengthen me Father.
Lord when “it” enters my relationship and causes disruption and then tries to convince me that my self-worth is too low to either fight for or leave the relationship- give me the strength, wisdom, and discernment to make the right decision and to prove “it” wrong. When “it” tries to convince me that there is something better ‘there’ than ‘here’ yet You haven’t directed me towards that path, strengthen Your hold on me Father- show me the evil plot so that it can be diffused immediately.
Strengthen me Father.
Strengthen me Father. Bless me with discernment, wisdom, and joy to overcome “it” and the temptation and evil “it” represents. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.
For those of you reading this message, yes, as you can see from the length of it, you will need a couple of minutes to read this. For those of you listening, it won’t take long. I promise. So let’s jump into today’s scripture and look closely at the biggest culprit standing in the way of your future blessings.
The devil is a liar.
Repeat after me…the devil is a liar.
For those of you who are thrill seekers, never satisfied, shopaholics, always on the go, always looking ahead for something better, faster, leaner, sexier, hotter, and newer…this message is especially for you.
The moment you acquire something and begin to use it without taking care of it properly, it loses a great deal of value. A car loses some value the moment it drives off the lot, but a ‘classic’ becomes more valuable the longer you have it, maintain it, and keep it well-conditioned…looking like new. Many of us treat our personal and professional lives and relationships the exact same way that we treat our cars.
A ‘weak’ personality (or mindset) is the easiest for the enemy to manipulate; you’re easily swayed one direction or the other. The enemy would soon have you looking around for something “better” and not all the time with the goal of replacing it, but rather keeping it around like a trophy you dust off from time-to-time; like the old pager that you don’t use but you just can’t throw away or recycle; like the old car you keep in the garage collecting cobwebs, that you haven’t started up in years.
That’s our lives in every aspect of the sense…in business and in love some of us struggle with the temptation for ‘more’.
When you “fudge” numbers on accounting books, steal office supplies, take credit for work not yours, maneuver yourself into an assignment or project that you know was to go to someone else but you wanted it too much, or you flat out steal someone’s client—you have given the devil a foothold.
You have given in to the liar’s lure. You are like the fish who just can’t resist grabbing that red, bouncing ball in the water; you are so blinded by the desire to get the ball that you don’t see the sharp hook that is attached, and right as you put the ball in your mouth the hook snatches ahold of your jaws and before you know it you’re being thrown in a ice chest.
If you aren’t 80% to 100% satisfied with your job and it is no longer the environment where you find great passion…you have two choices…
- Find a new one. Don’t stay there giving 50% to 70% effort, yet expecting 100% pay. Don’t stay there moaning, groaning, and complaining about how miserable you are- move on and get a new job/career; or
- Pray to God to show you what made you so passionate in the beginning about this job, this company, and then reinvest yourself in reigniting that passion.
Here’s another example:
Every time you receive a call, text message, instant message, email, friend request, card, letter, postcard, ecard, or gift from someone that you know in your heart wasn’t sent to you by God to do His good and empower His kingdom, you have to know it’s a trick of the liar. Especially if this person is not your spouse/significant other.
Can you see them? Pay close attention. They are warning signs that you’re giving the devil a foothold.
God will sit back and see what we do after He’s warned us and tried to redirect our paths. He will see how far you can be tempted, how far you will stray, how far you are willing to go before destroying your life and your relationships with loved ones. He will send His angels to show you the way back to the light- but ultimately it is your decision to either follow wrong or turn around and follow God.
When you are sharing intimate details about yourself, your spouse or significant other to another person (that you are or could potentially be attracted to, or vice versa) you are merely fanning the flame of temptation, and forming the dark cloud that hangs over your head and soon surrounds you. When you invest time and energy with a person not your spouse or significant other, you have almost totally invested in the devil and turned your back on God. You’re giving the devil a foothold.
The flirting, exchanging of contact information, the secret calls and messages, the gifts, the intimacy, the planning of time together, the dreaming of being together, the secret visits at hotels and other places…it’s all part of the evil plan to snatch all of the goodness out of you and replace it with the pitiful darkness of evil.
You’re giving the devil a foothold.
If you aren’t 80% to 100% satisfied with your relationship, don’t disrespect your relationship, the person you are with, and God, by sneaking around with other people …instead just lovingly walk away from the relationship— making it clear that you are no longer invested in that relationship and that person; and are more interested in seeking what you desire elsewhere. If you can’t give and receive what you and the other person needs to have a joy-filled and fruitful relationship then don’t deduct even more time, energy, and effort away from that person just to invest it in someone else at the same time. You’re giving the devil a foothold.
But think about this…
Maybe the very thing that’s lacking in your relationship is the result of you (personally) not investing in it to begin with, not nurturing it, and not finding a way together to make it work. Maybe your laziness and self-centeredness is the reason you are so easily tempted elsewhere.
Ever consider that?
There’s a second option for you…
Look to your spouse/significant other and ask yourself how you could make things better in your relationship, how much time you could have loving and caring for this person if you weren’t busy investing it in someone and or something else.
Don’t let temptation ruin your life.
Don’t let your temptation ruin someone else’s life.
Don’t let temptation steer you away from God.
Don’t let the liar convince you that you can do and have all you desire without God.
Stop the madness. It is literally eating you from within like rotten fruit.
Pray to God for the strength to discern bad seeds from good ones, temptation from His way, and wrong from right. Pray for the courage to be obedient and to tune in to His voice above all others.
Remember, when we’re so busy looking into the yard next to us, we fail to tend to our own!
What looks and feels good in the temporary may bring us the most pain in the long-term. The job you hate today may later prove to be heaven-sent when you get to fully explore the realization of what else is out there.
Embrace your blessings family, and focus on making sure that the devil does not gain a foothold in any part of your life. Have a wonderful day!
Love you always,