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Seeds of the Kingdom


by John Berry

...and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4:27, NIV

We suffered the trauma of a break-in at home recently. Whilst everyone was out someone smashed patio doors and rifled through the drawers in both ours and my parents’-in-law’s bedrooms (they live with us). Some jewellery and cash was taken, but the more troubling part was that the intruder was disturbed by my in-laws who had returned home from a short shopping trip. The young man was confronted by father-in-law (who is nearly 90 years of age, and ex-army) who shouted at him and he ran away through the broken doors! Fortunately there was no physical violence, just a lot of broken glass and the ongoing effect it has had on the elderly couple.

When the police arrived - and there were a number of them, for which we were very grateful – they looked around the property and pointed out that part of the way in for the thief was through the doors in which the keys had been left inside so he could simply reach through the hole in the broken glass. We always thought that the keys were necessary in case of fire, but it seems that the risk of burglary is greater. So from now on keys are no longer left in locks.

This got me thinking that in a way we had provided the ‘enemy’ with a foothold into our life, just as the Apostle Paul warned us against in Ephesians 4. So often in life we provide the devil with access into our situations without realising it, and he, being an opportunist, takes advantage of these seemingly small things and turns them into major entry points. Maybe it’s a wrong thought or word, or a selfish action or a moment of unforgiveness. In my experience these things can so easily grow into serious spiritual issues for us.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 to take our stand against the devil, which sounds a lot easier, although a bit more scary, than keeping an eye on the little sins of life. However, part of taking a stand is keeping armoured up and thus denying the enemy his access points. Not giving the devil a foothold must become a serious part of everyday life, otherwise we can so easily find we have been ‘broken into’.

This doesn’t came naturally to most of us, as our carnal nature tends to obscure the problem, just like the way we didn’t realise the potential difficulty of leaving keys in the lock. We need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who can spot the footholds when we can’t, and who will then help us to identify them and deal with them. We don’t want to become too focussed on the negative however, so let’s just invite Holy Spirit to fill us and have His way, letting us know when we need to remove a key from a lock.

The police advised us to get a sign saying “beware of the dog” and maybe a dog to go with the sign. Perhaps we all need to have a sign in a prominent spiritual position, saying “Be aware of the Spirit” and that may deter the enemy from trying a bit of breaking and entering, providing the Holy Spirit is in residence in us!

Prayer: Lord, please forgive us for not recognising where we are giving the devil a foothold in our lives. Please fill us again with Your Holy Spirit so we can be supernaturally equipped to spot the entry points that the devil could otherwise use to gain access and cause great damage in us and through us. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.


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