The devil is on the prowl all the time. Therefore, as the children of God, we must be both watchful and careful to control ourselves in every situation. We can be angry, but we should never allow ourselves to lose control in the process. We should especially watch for situations where the devil could try to get a foothold. He is not imaginary nor a fairy tale, but is very real, and everyone should beware of falling under his evil influence. Let’s not provide him with a chance to control what we do—which can easily occur if we permit our anger to be drawn out. But if we allow ourselves to develop the anger we feel, we provide a reason for giving in to what the devil suggests. Yet he has no power to enter a Christian’s heart—if that person does not permit it. We should therefore not allow our heart to be open to his evil suggestions by encouraging anger in our lives. “Be ye angry, and sin not…” (Ephesians 4:26).
Yielding to anger can easily sink into hatred, leaving an opening for the devil to come into the situation. Those who encourage hatred give the devil productive ground to work through their hateful spirit. And he will take full advantage of our anger to do us great harm. If we take anger to bed with us, it will wreck our sleep and give revenge a chance to grow and rear its ugly head! Allowing anger to marinate all night long provides a perfect place for the devil to get in and do his worst. “…let not the sun go down upon your wrath…” (Ephesians 4:26).
Let’s leave no room in our life for the devil to work. We should never give him a chance to deceive us. We know we live in a sin-saturated world. We feel it all the time, to the point that we can even become numb to it. But if we allow it to come to a point where we take it personally against us, we are likely to let wrath develop that is definitely not from God. Don’t carry a grudge—bury it! It hurts us more than the one we are upset with. If we allow it grow, the devil will rush in the same door and do something that will rob us of our peace and joy. And more importantly, it will interfere with what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our life.
If we wake up more angry than when we went to bed, we’ll search for more fuel for our fire. What an opportunity this gives the devil to get in and cause trouble! Once he’s in, he’ll fire up our passions and drive us to do things we’d never dream of doing in our calmer moments. But if we insist on nursing our wrath and on dwelling gloomily on things we imagine were done wrong against us, we might as well open the door wide and invite the devil to come right in. He is only too happy to fan into flames what remains of the dying embers of our wrath. If we are full of resentment, he’ll gladly be our companion. Let’s not allow our anger, wrath or resentment to continue after sundown. Make that the stopping point, and put it all to rest. We need to take this time to communicate peacefully with God instead, or we may find ourselves continuing to give free rein to resentment away from Him. “…neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).
We might get angry, but our job is to make sure sin doesn’t follow behind it. Even the Lord got angry: “…He…looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts …” (Mark 3:5). But His anger was righteous anger, which we may also have at times. If we allow ourselves to indulge in even this type of anger, the situation will certainly go downhill from there. And if we let our wrath become excessive, the enemy will be able to pit one Christian against another and divide and conquer whenever he has an opportunity.
The devil cannot come into our soul unless we allow him to. We may be certain that it’s an easier battle to keep the enemy of our soul from ever coming in than it is to get him back out again! Be courageous and strong, and offer full resistance to any attacks by the devil. We are never under any obligation to yield to him! “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27).
The devil’s desire and delight is to control Christians, and to get them to have bad feelings toward each other. This grieves God’s Spirit. Let’s be real when we face our anger, and deny the devil access to our heart, mind and soul. Do not give way to Satan, which we do when we permit lust or corruption to enter in. This encourages him to suggest and tempt us with further evil. When we yield to him, he will turn on us. Then he will press in more and more until he gets complete dominion over us. Let’s stay on guard and watch and pray, while we resist and avoid any and all appearance of evil. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
[Additional image credits: Featured image (when applicable) by Gursimrat Ganda on Unsplash]