Bible Reading: John 18:1-11
Having spent special time to prepare His disciples for His death, and having spent time alone with His Father, the time has come for Jesus to go to the cross. We know that this was the work of an enemy. John makes it clear that after taking the bread from Jesus at the supper, Satan entered Judas. Judas was under the control and direction of Satan [John 13:26-27]. Later in John, Jesus said, “the ruler of this world has come, and he has nothing in Me” [John 14:30].
It was the Father’s will that Jesus lay down His life to save lost mankind, but it is also the work of Satan. This tells us that Satan can do nothing unless God permits him to do so. Even the darkness is under God’s control. This leads to a further thought, that Satan cannot touch either God or His children unless he is permitted to do so. Satan cannot touch a child of God, unless they give him the right. Speaking about curses, the writer of Proverbs says, “A curse without a cause cannot come to rest” [Proverbs 26:2]. When Jesus sent out His disciples on a mission, He said to them, “Nothing shall by any means hurt you” [Luke 10:19]. Satan has no power over Jesus unless God gives him permission, and he has no right over us unless we give him that right! This is a vital spiritual principle in living a victorious Christian life!
Satan is the arch-legalist. He cannot function unless he is given the legal right to do so. God gave him the legal right to put Jesus on the cross, in order to totally defeat him through the cross and resurrection! Satan thought that he was on a winner, but had no idea that God was dealing with him and defeating him.
Because of the cross and resurrection we can have constant victory over Satan and his evil schemes. John wrote, “They overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to death” [Revelation 12:11]. Satan looks for opportunities to attack and harm us, but can do nothing if we give him no right! Writing to the Ephesians, Paul said, that we are to give no place to the devil [Ephesians 5:27]. Deliberate sin, unforgiveness and wrong thinking will give him a legal right to work in our lives. His attack comes primarily in the mind, where he will seek to build a stronghold and create a stranglehold that will sap and destroy our walk with God! This is why it is so important that we allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse us through God’s Word and renew our mind, so that we are continually being transformed [Romans 12:1-2]. Give the devil no room!
What does God’s Word mean to you when it commands us to “give no room to the devil”?
What can we do to protect our minds from the attacks of the enemy? Read Matthew 4:1-11. How did Jesus repel the enemy’s attack in the wilderness?
Why does unforgiveness have such a terrible impact upon a person’s life? To help you understand this read Matthew 18:21-35.