Principles for Personal Change: Strongholds

Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.” (Ephesians 4:27 NLT)

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, the 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 more men and equipment in 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 got a foothold in your life. If you fill your life with resentment, he's got 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 mighty foothold to the Devil” (Ephesians 4:27 NLT). 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.

Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.

© Copyright 2011 Rick Warren. Used by permission.

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