Those of you who follow my blog regularly know that right now we are the midst of studying Ephesians at our Teaching & Worship Experience each week. I often share my teaching notes on the blog but today I want to share with you Scripture from Ephesians that I used in one of my daily devotions. If you didn’t know, you can read my daily devotional, Drawing Near to God, online or via our mobile app on your smartphone!
The Scripture (which is also a part of this week’s lesson) is as follows:
Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer. (Ephesians 4:27)
Let’s look together at what this means for us, especially when life throws us curve balls, in the below devotional entry:
When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks.
Ancient kings often placed their feet on their enemies as a symbol of their strength and conquering power over them. Joshua told the commanders of the Israelite army to put their feet on the necks of the enemy kings who were captured. Jesus disarmed the power and authority of the evil one when He died on the cross. He put the enemy under His feet signifying His conquering power over Satan, death, and sin. Although the ultimate defeat of the enemy has been accomplished, until the day when Christ returns, the enemy still prowls, trying to disrupt our lives: Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist, standing firm in the faith. (I Peter 4:8-9)
Joshua symbolically had the Israelite commanders put their feet on the neck of the defeated kings. Jesus put the enemy under His feet when He disarmed powers and authorities and made them a public spectacle on the cross. (Colossians 2:15) It seemed as though Jesus was defeated on the cross, but on the third day He rose from the grave, and in essence, that day His triumph placed His feet on the neck of Satan.
Life throws a lot of curve balls. Some of those are caused by the poor decisions we make; others are thrown by people who are in opposition to us. But there are times when the enemy seeks to disrupt our lives with his lies and the confusion that his lies bring. His strategy is to have us agree with his lies, and when in agreement, he gains a foothold in our lives. In essence, he places his foot on the neck of our lives: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer. (Ephesians 4:27) Anger is a key way the enemy gains a foothold in our lives. Anger left unchecked gives the enemy a place in our lives. As we recognize his tactics, we must remember that He who lives in us (Christ Jesus) is stronger than he who lives in the world (the devil). Thanks be to God that Christ has defeated the enemy on the cross and has placed His feet on the neck of all of his strategies.
Thank you that You have defeated the enemy. As a defeated foe, help me to remember not to give him a foothold in my life by fueling my anger or by believing his lies.
In Jesus’ name, Amen