Do you have something in your life that you continually battle, yet can’t seem to overcome completely? Something that constantly creeps back in and pesters you? Sometimes you think you get rid of it, then here it comes again. Maybe it’s a bad habit or addiction. Maybe it’s a choice you keep making that you genuinely don’t want to make, yet you do it over and over again. You just can’t seem to rid yourself of this.
Understand, this is an area of your life where Satan has a foothold on you.
What is a foothold? I want you to think of it like this, if you’re trying to get away from me by running down the hall and escaping into a room, you would want to close the door to keep me out, right? But if when you’re closing the door on me, I put my foot in the door, you can’t close the door and I now have access whether you want me to or not. My foot is holding the door open. I have a foothold on you.
Now imagine Satan, your enemy from the pits of hell who wants nothing more than to kill, steal and destroy every ounce of goodness in your life, has a foothold on you. His foot is holding the door open, and no matter how hard you push, you can’t close the door. He has access to your life, and he torments you.
God wants to reveal to us how we have allowed a foothold in areas of our lives that give the devil access to torment us. God will help us close this door and overcome that which we cannot overcome on our own.
Scripture tells us about this foothold in Ephesians 4:26-27 “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
Unresolved anger creates this foothold for the devil which he uses as leverage against you. Now, maybe you don’t feel like an angry person, but anger is simply an unforgiveness for an offense against you. It shows up as bitterness, negative thoughts, jealousy, replayed scenarios in your head, and positioning yourself as a victim. And maybe you have every right in the world to feel the way you do. But understand, justified feelings still offer a foothold to the devil.
The devil would love nothing more than to get all up in your justified hurt. He relishes in the opportunity to play in your bitterness and keep you stuck there. He’s so comfortable in your past pain and keeps the door open to that pain hurting you again today.
Satan’s access through this foothold in your life shows up as the thing you just can’t stop doing. It shows up as the one thing you can’t seem to get control of, and that one thing is destroying your life. It shows up as that destructive behavior that creates shame and guilt and holds you back from living freely and fully. It’s the thing you don’t want to do, yet you’re pulled into doing it again.
My friends, that’s what our enemy does to us. That’s what happens when he has a foothold on us and we aren’t able to close the door to him. As long as that door is open, understand he will continue to stir up trouble, pester and torment you, and create continual havoc in your life.
Again, what is keeping that door open? Satan’s foothold! What has allowed his foothold on you? Anger, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness.
Where have you withheld forgiveness? Who has hurt you and as a result you’ve kept them locked away in a prison in your heart where they can’t be forgiven? What has hurt you, creating an open wound you don’t know how to deal with? Not dealing with it has created more chaos in your life than you realize. Avoiding this hurt has left open doors to demons who have stirred up bad habits and negative tendencies to forever restrain you from the full life Jesus came to give you.
We absolutely must decide this isn’t okay in our lives any longer. We must decide the enemy doesn’t get a single inch of our heart, our mind, or our soul. He doesn’t get to keep his foot in the door here! This foothold will be destroyed, and it will be destroyed now! We’re getting to the root of this problem, and we’re doing some healing work!
In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus teaches us the importance of forgiveness through a parable. The parable is of a king who forgave one of his servants of his large debt that he was unable to repay. That forgiven servant with unpaid debt had someone who owed him a small amount of money. When that small debt could not be repaid, he refused to offer the same forgiveness that had been given him by the king, and instead threw the one who owed him into prison. When the king found out about the one whom he had forgiven not being willing to forgive also, he had him throw into prison to be tortured.
Then, here comes the lesson from Jesus that absolutely stops us in our tracks. Verse 35, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
What does this mean? This means we will be tormented as long as we do not forgive. As long as we hold on to our bitterness and our hurt, the devil has his foot stuck in the door, allowing him access to torture us.
This is why we struggle with such negative talk and self hatred. We’ve given the devil a foothold through our unforgiveness of something in the past.
This is why we’ve been battling that same bad habit for all these years. The devil has a foothold and permission to torment us as long as we refuse to deal with that pain and hold on to that hurt.
Forgiveness. It’s something we have received with total and complete unmerited grace.
Forgiveness. It’s something we withhold believing an apology would be necessary first. It’s something we store away in untouchable places as we continue to be tortured by hurt that happened years ago. It’s something we hold over the head of those who hurt us, yet it only hurts us.
Recognize, your anger, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness creates a foothold for the devil in YOUR LIFE. When you refuse to forgive, you lock yourself away in a prison of torment. Torment of ruining all the progress you made. Torment of going back to the same things you swore you would never do again. Torment of battling the same old crap you’ve been battling for so long.
And Jesus wants to set you free. He wants to help you slam the door in the enemy’s face and NEVER allow him access to your life again.
Will you begin today by asking God to show you what anger, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness you hold against someone or something?
Then, as God starts revealing these things to you, stop justifying it and excusing it, and instead see what happens when you ask Jesus to help you forgive fully. For some of us, that’s a really tall order, and one we could never do on our own. But God can. God can guide you in forgiving.
What will happen is healing.
Healing like you’ve never experienced before.
Healing that takes the foot of the devil which has been holding open the door to the torment of his demons, and lifts it once and for all.
Healing that creates a lightness you didn’t even know was possible.
Healing that brings freedom you’ve never experienced before.
When the foothold is broken, healing begins. There’s been a foot in your door, and it’s time to get rid of it!