“Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27
Think back to your elementary and high school science classes. For some of us, that was many years ago. Do you remember learning of plants that were carnivores, meaning they survived by eating animals? One such plant is the sundew. A perennial plant that grows on every continent but Antarctica, the sundew must rely on trapping and consuming insects to obtain the nutrients and minerals it does not receive from the soil in which it is grown. Having a lifespan of fifty years, the sundew comprises one of the largest classes of carnivorous plants, having nearly two hundred species.
What’s interesting is the way the sundew traps insects. Shaped much like other flowers, the sundew lures unsuspecting insects to land on its petals through dew-like formations on the edge of the petals. Because of a sticky substance known as mucilage on the petals, the insects are stuck to the plant. Not realizing their predicament, the insects inch closer to the center of the flower in search of food. As soon as the insect reaches within striking distance, the sundew closes and consumes the trapped insect.
Insects are initially lured by the attractive sight of the “dew drops” on the petals of the sundew. Their fatal journey begins by the allurement of the eyes. In the same way, the Christians’ journey to the path of sin often begins with the allurement of the eyes.
The devil is an expert at trapping Christians on his sticky plant of sin. Sin looks enticing, fun, and even pleasurable, but what is not seen is the ravenous enemy hiding behind the sin. Christians are allured to sin through an appealing outer appearance.
Once a Christian takes the step toward sin and lands in the devil’s trap, he then lures them closer to destruction through more enticement and temptation. All the while, the devil is waiting as the sundew waits to pounce on his prey. As the Christian inches closer to the devil, he continues his game of allurement until one day he pounces and gains control of the Christian. While we know the devil can never have the soul of a Christian, he can control a Christian’s actions to the point that the believer loses all desire to serve God.
God warns against taking the first step toward sin in Ephesians 4, “Neither give place to the devil.” Don’t even give an inch of ground to temptation. When sin starts to pull at your flesh, run to God’s Word. When temptation weakens your defense, seek God in prayer. When the devil’s path entices you, strengthen yourself through godly friends.
The devil cannot force you to sin unless you take that first step toward him. Too often Christians reason with the devil on temptation. “One time won’t hurt.” “It’s just a little out of my comfort zone.” “Well, those Christians are doing it and aren’t affected by it.” The devil’s best weapon against a Christian is compromise.
In a world of compromise, God tells you to stand firm against the devil. He warns against even giving an inch of ground to the devil, lest he lure you into his trap of temptation. Standing firm won’t be easy. Temptations will appeal to your flesh; other Christians may give in and seek to persuade you to let down your guard. Yet through it all, remember the sundew plant. Even the smallest compromise can lead to large consequences. (From Daily in the Word)