July 1st

Footholds for the Enemy

Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude. Luke 22:3-6 NKJV 

If we are to live for God and be fruitful for his kingdom, we’re going to have to be somewhat acquainted with the basic strategies of the devil and his allies.  The devil (AKA Satan, Lucifer, the Serpent and the ruler of the power of the air)  leads a horde of evil spirit-beings that help him carry out his mission of turning people to sin and away from God. These beings include demons and fallen angels, according to the Bible.  Their work usually involves finding a “foothold” in the mind or flesh of a person that will allow him to be overcome and enslaved in sin.   

The story of Judas illustrates how footholds can be deadly.  As a follower of Jesus, Judas was among the 12 closest people to Jesus on earth. How did Satan gain access to Judas and persuade him to ultimately betray Jesus?   The answer is that Satan started working on Judas through a “foothold” or weakness long before his betrayal of Christ.  We know that the love of money was a key weakness for Judas.  As the treasurer for Jesus’ ministry, Judas routinely stole from the moneybag (John 12:4-6).  This gave the devil a huge foothold from which to gain more and more influence over him.  We see in the above passage the culmination of the devil’s work, where Judas negotiated a deal with the Pharisees to betray Jesus for 30 silver coins. 

That’s how the devil often works in us.  He looks for a weakness in us and tempts us in that area to see if we’ll yield to our sinful desires.  Paul wrote, “do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27).  Each person has different weaknesses which can become an opportunity, or foothold, for the devil.  For some it could be the love of money, like with Judas.  For others it could be the lust for sex.  For others it could be pride of position and influence.  Once we give in to the temptation in that area, we open the door to the devil and he gains influence over us.  If we don’t repent of the sin, Satan will retain the foothold in us and attempt to expand his influence over our lives by leading us into more sin.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, thank you for imparting your righteous to me through my faith in Jesus Christ.  I praise you and thank you that I am free to live for you and am free from the law of sin and death.  I confess that I have allowed the devil to exploit my weaknesses of:_______________ (list your weaknesses).  I renounce my sin in those areas now and recommit myself to obeying you.  Please strengthen me through the Holy Spirit to put the sinful deeds of my flesh to death and no longer give place to the devil.  I plead the blood of Jesus over myself and put on the breastplate of righteousness, along with the rest of the Armor of God.  I thank you and praise you now and forever, O God.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen”