October 9th 

Giving him an inch 

1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
21After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me."
22His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means."
25Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?"
26Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
28"What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
 John 13:1-4,21-30 NIV 

The story of Judas gives us an example of how the devil can gain influence in a person’s life and lead him or her into various sins.  Sin is usually a progressive process.  We know from John 12 that Judas had been entertaining temptations prior to his betrayal of Jesus: 

3Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said,
5 "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?"
6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it
.  John 12:3-6 NASB 

Judas loved money and apparently stole from the ministry funds routinely.  After the above incident with the perfume anointing, Judas went to the chief priests and asked them how much they’d pay him to betray Jesus.  Once he found out that they would pay him thirty pieces of silver, “he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus” (Matthew 26:16 NASB).   

Satan played a significant role in Judas’ decision to sin.  John said that Satan had prompted Judas to betray Jesus. At the Last Supper, Satan actually entered Judas just after he received the bread from Jesus.  From there, Judas acted on his plan and the rest is history.   

There are some key applications from this story that we can make to our lives.  Since the devil is still roaming the earth, looking for trouble, we need to take special care in guarding our hearts from the impulses of sin.  While the devil can’t make us sin, he can plant seeds of temptation in us.  When we respond to the temptations, we’re giving him “an inch” – i.e. opening the “door” of our life to the devil.   He will respond by taking a mile – i.e. increasing his influence over us with greater temptations.  If we continue to yield to his temptations, we’ll become pawns for the devil and enemies of God.   

Whether we are with God or against God, his purposes will be carried out.   Ironically, though Judas was following Satan, he unwittingly carried out God’s plan by bringing about Jesus’ arrest.  Judas’ life ended in misery as a result and it would have been better for him if he had never been born (Mark 14:21)!  God wants us to follow the Holy Spirit’s promptings and be used in a good way for his purposes. When we follow the devil, the final results will never be good.  They will be perfectly in line with the devil’s nature of stealing, killing and destroying. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Father in heaven, Thank you for the warning through the story of Judas.  I confess the areas of my life that I have given the devil an inch by yielding to temptation: _______- (specify).  Please forgive me for those sins and cleanse me by the blood of Jesus.  I desire to reclaim the ground I gave to the devil.  Please help me to reclaim that ground for your kingdom and no longer listen to the lies of the devil.  Please restore the convictions of my conscience and my recognition of sin for the evil that it is.  I present myself as an instrument for righteousness today and not for sin.  I praise you now and forever, Amen.” 

Note:  If you have given significant ground to the devil in your life, you may need to receive “deliverance" ministry.  “Demonization” or oppression from evil spirits is very common today as it was during Jesus’ ministry on earth.  Visit our Deliverance Study for more details.