“Give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27, ESV).

“Do not give the devil a foothold” (NIV).

“Nor give place to the devil” (NKJV).

Sometimes it feels like the devil is actively messing with you. You may be tempted to blame him for everything—even that constant stack of dirty dishes. OK that’s silly. But how do you know if the devil has a foothold?

You can recognize when the accuser is busy when your whole perspective about someone changes. You have become nit-picky, negative, and fault-finding. Why is it that they didn’t bug you before, but now everything they do bugs you? You’re suddenly tracking all their motives. They can’t even sneeze right. Yep, the accuser has found a “place” to get you to censure the people you love with unspoken slanderous accusations.

Spiritual warfare is not spooky, kooky, or spectacular. It simply involves your day-to-day relationships. Look at what surrounds Ephesians 4:27. The devil has no chance to enter your space when you:

1. Speak the truth in ways that build up those around you (4:25, 29)

2. Limit your anger to the right things and give it all to God before the sun sets (4:26)

3. Bring to work an honest heart and leave work with a generous heart (4:28)

4. Refuse to be bitter and choose to extend grace no matter what people do or say (4:31)

5. Respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompts to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving (Eph 4:32)

PRAY: Lord, it takes a lot of work to keep my heart and mind closed to accusations. But I want to stay free of bitterness and slanderous thoughts so I can freely respond to your Spirit. I realize that wrong attitudes create “space” for the enemy to do his dirty work. Please help me identify every wrong feeling or attitude that the devil is using to ruin my relationship with            . I truly love my family and friends—and with your help, I will love them well. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.