Do not give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27-30)

I have always had anger issues. Although I’m not a trained psychologist, I suspect that my childhood trauma had a lot to do with my temper. Irrespective of how I became that way, my behaviour affected innocent people who I deeply cared about. Fortunately, I got into the Christian ministry 15 years ago and realized the power of scriptures like Ephesians 4:27-30. It got me wondering what the apostle Paul meant when he said, “Do not give place to the devil”.

Ephesians 4:27-30 confronts several common weaknesses among Christians then and now. According to verse 27, Paul urges Christians not to give place to the devil. The apostle is referring to habits that invite the enemy to take advantage of human weaknesses. The three verses mention certain behaviours that Christians should avoid. These include prolonged anger, dishonesty, selfishness and insensitive behaviour. These vices are said to give “place” or “room” for the devil.

Join me as we sift through the life lessons in Ephesians 4:27-30. In this article, we will also discuss the possible meanings of the phrase “Do not give place to the devil”. Keep reading to gain insight into how to live a life that is pleasing to God.

What is the meaning of Ephesians 4:27-30?

This piece of scripture is very crucial to the life of a believer. It reminds Christians of their numerous weaknesses, which oftentimes expose them to the power of the enemy. In verse 27, Paul asks Christians not to give the devil any leeway into their lives. Here, he was trying to warn Christians against doing things that make them easy targets to be used by the devil.

In the next verses, he speaks directly to people who make a living through stealing or swindling people, urging them to stop. Paul emphasizes the need to earn an honest living and give back to the needy. This scripture teaches Christians to work not only for themselves but also for those who don’t have the same economic opportunities as they do.

Verse 29 implores believers to refrain from unconstructive speech that adds zero value to the lives of others. As mentioned in this scripture, such tendencies grieve the Holy Spirit. In the book of John 14:25-28, the bible teaches that the Holy Spirit acts as a counsellor and a helper for Christians. It would therefore be unwise to upset the Holy Spirit, whose help you need to navigate life and connect with God.

What is the context of Ephesians 4:27-30

Do not give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27-30)
Ephesians 4:27-30. Image source: Pinterest

To understand the context under which this scripture was written, it is necessary to take a few steps back to verse 26. Paul asks Christians not to let anger lead them into sin. In this verse, the Bible encourages believers to let go of their anger as quickly as possible.

Anger can be a powerful motivating factor. It drives people to do unspeakable and regrettable things. The Bible explains that anger makes the human mind vulnerable. If people stay angry for too long, it exposés them to evil thoughts. While anger in itself is not a sin, what we do and say during anger can have terrible consequences. This is why verse 32 of the same chapter implores Christians to rid themselves of bitterness and other negative emotions that could cause them to sin.

What does it mean to give place to the devil?

In this context, the word “place” could be replaced with “room” or “opportunity“. When Paul tells the early Christians not to give the devil room, he had numerous thoughts in mind. First, he asks Christians to avoid taking what they did not earn.

Having a job is very important because it helps you to meet your basic needs and even indulge in some wants. When people are unable to take care of themselves, they get exposed to numerous temptations. The enemy takes advance of their circumstances, triggering them to sin by stealing or taking advantage of others.

Paul gives a practical way to avoid this by working diligently in any given job. Making a decent living is not just about catering to the self. The Bible also mentions the duty of providing for the less fortunate as a service to God. By doing this, Christians deny the enemy any leeway against their lives.

The devil can also use our words to inflict pain on others. The apostle warns Christians against talking carelessly. Negative words can crush a person’s spirit. The followers of the gospel of Jesus Christ have to lead by example. They can do this by watching what they say and always seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

How can Christians not give place to the devil?

Do not give place to the devil 
How can Christians not give place to the devil? Image source: Pixabay

In the entire chapter of Ephesians 4, the bible talks about actionable ways Christians can live exemplary lives. The apostle Paul wrote this letter intending to help people live meaningful lives.

To protect themselves from enemy attacks, Christians should take full control of their lives. Although you may have the career of your dreams, the job you have can sustain you while you work toward achieving your dreams. Doing nothing is never a good idea.

Christians should also be intentional about their words and how they treat others. As mentioned earlier, the enemy can use us to hurt innocent persons in our lives. Speaking kindly to everyone and lending to those in need fortifies your spirit from enemy attacks.

Finally, believers should actively fight against the urge to stay angry and hold grudges. Hatred and bitterness cause all kinds of trouble that could have otherwise been avoided. In the book of Proverbs 17:4, the bible counsels Christians to put an end an argument as soon as it starts. Forgiveness is an effective method that Christians can use to resist the enemy and deny him any leverage in their lives.

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