“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Slam the Door on Satan
When it is said that someone has a “foot in the door,” it’s normally a positive thing. You often hear that phrase when young people receive an internship at a company they hope to work for someday. Getting their “foot in the door” means they have an opportunity; it means that their small role might one day turn into something big. That’s a good thing when it comes to employment.
It’s destructive, however, when the foot in the door belongs to Satan. As Satan looks to destroy a person’s life and relationships, he doesn’t normally burst onto the scene with a lot of fanfare and fireworks. He gradually works his way in. At first, he only wants access. He wants a foot in the door of our hearts.
And that’s exactly what we give him whenever we hold on to any sin, no matter how small or insignificant that sin seems at the moment. In today’s Bible verse, the apostle Paul uses the example of anger, urging us to not lie down to sleep until we’ve resolved whatever tension is taking place between us and another person. Why? For the same reason, Adam and Eve should have walked away from the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. For the same reason, King David should have turned away when he saw Bathsheba bathing. Because, as God’s word says, “After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15). Death of relationships. Death of peace. Death of love. Death for eternity.
But death that does not need to happen.
After Adam and Eve gave Satan a foot in the door of their hearts in the Garden of Eden, God responded to their destructive sin by promising a Savior who would one day crush the head of Satan. And that’s what Jesus did, as he hung on the cross and was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities, so that we, who have opened the door for Satan far too often, might have hearts completely filled with the peace of being entirely forgiven.
And if our hearts are filled with that peace, then that leaves no room for Satan. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you,” God tells us. (James 4:7). Satan must flee. He knows that he has been defeated by our Savior. And we show that we know it too when we see our sin, find refuge at the cross of Jesus, and slam the door on Satan.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your victory over Satan. Protect our lives and relationships by helping us remember that victory as we are assaulted by his many temptations. Amen.
Source: WELS Devotions