“Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27
“Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.” Genisis 13:12
What do we love? What do we seek after with our whole heart? Do we seek the Lord or do we fulfill our flesh and follow the devil?! Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked! They lie to us continually. Any time we consider such things it is easy to think about others and what they are or aren’t doing. But we should apply these things to ourselves and examine our hearts thoroughly, checking them by the scripture! Let us pray with David “Search me, O God, and Know my heart, try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Here is a Psalm from the man after God’s own heart:
“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” Psalm 122:1-9
Do we love the house of the Lord? Do our feet stand within it’s gate? Or do we pitch our tents toward Sodom? Peace and prosperity are in the house of the Lord, death and destruction abound in the world. In which do we wish to dwell? Do we prefer God’s house and God’s people over any other place or people? Who are the people that we should prefer? Those in our church first and foremost! Are we content with that?
We had reasons for joining the churches we did– Doctrine, practice, providence, people, etc. If we affirmed in the name of Jesus Christ that the doctrine and practice of this church were true indeed, if we confessed God’s providence in connecting us in it, if we promised to assemble, forgive, help, love, serve, communicate, submit, support, etc. then we are giving place to the devil and pitching our tent toward Sodom if we do not love and are not content to abide in this church! It is discontentment that causes us to “need” change, or “need” more. How can we contend against discontentment, and strengthen our zeal to withstand the devil and His temptation to pitch our tent toward anything but the Lord and His house? God gives us the answer in Ephesians. Through Paul He tells us the armor that we need to stand in God’s might against the devil.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:10-20
“TRUTH protects from his lies, diversions, confusions, and heresies (John 8:44). RIGHTEOUSNESS protects from accusations, compromise, reproaches, and doubts. PEACE protects from doubts, fear, worry, anxiety, distractions, and loss of joy.
FAITH protects from accusations, doubts, confusion, impatience, and inventions.
SALVATION protects from hopelessness, guilt, condemnation, and foolish works.
WORD OF GOD is offensive and will effectively counter his very best temptations.
PRAYER IN THE HOLY GHOST is the activity we should constantly emphasize.”
from the sermon “Give no Place” letgodbetrue.com
We cannot stand alone against the devil. That is why the Lord gives us this armor! We must choose to put it on daily. We must be sober and vigilant to resist the devil! This is a real war! It is serious, life and death serious. We must choose this day who we will serve, and where our affections will lie. We must choose contentment and choose love in/for His House!