“Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26b-27 NLT, second edition).
When you give the Devil a foothold into your life, he takes a stronghold. What does that mean? If you give Satan control of one little part of your life, he will soon take over the whole thing. You give him a foothold into your life, and he turns it into a stronghold.
Let me explain it this way: On D-Day, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. It was critical that they establish a beachhead — that is, a foothold on the beach that would allow them to set up a staging area to bring in more men and equipment for the battle. From that tiny foothold, the Allied forces were able to push inland in an effort to liberate France.
But Satan isn’t trying to liberate you. He wants to establish a foothold in your life in order to take over more and more of your life. Once he gets deep enough into an area of sin, he turns the foothold into a stronghold, and that makes it harder for you to take back control of your life.
How does Satan get a foothold in your life? In Ephesians 4:27, the example is anger, but it could be any negative emotion. If you fill your life with worry, he’s gained a foothold in your life. If you fill your life with resentment, he’s gained a foothold in your life. If you allow guilt to turn into shame, Satan has a foothold in your life.
The Apostle Paul says the best way to deal with these negative emotions is immediately. He says, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26b-27 NLT, second edition). You make a choice to deal with it right away.
Otherwise, the negative emotion will fester in your heart and give Satan the opportunity to establish a foothold in your life.
Talk It Over
- What negative emotion have you allowed the Devil to use to take a foothold in your life? Or, what emotion has the potential to become a foothold for the Devil?
- What does it mean for a negative emotion to fester in your life?
- How can you be proactive about dealing with negative emotions that may arise in your life?