Do not give the devil a foothold

Acts 4:21-22 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. (22) For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.

Though the leaders threatened, beat, imprisoned, and punished the disciples, they could go no further, because of the people.  The people were glorifying God for the miraculous healing that had taken place.

This was what took place with Jesus, repeatedly. Matthew 21:46 But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.  This was the reason why they arrested Jesus stealthily, and tried Him in the early hours when most people would be asleep. 

As the Gospel is shared and miraculous signs and wonders take place, it results in a people movement.  Large numbers of people are drawn to Christ and they worship God. 

The healing of blind Bartimaeus caused the people to give praise to God. Luke 18:42-43 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” (43) And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

We see this taking place again and again.  Matthew 9:32-33 As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. (33) And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”

Great multitudes came to Jesus and they glorified the God of Israel. Matthew 15:30-31 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. (31) So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.

What was the Lord doing?  He was drawing people to Himself.  He came to seek and save the lost.  He saw people in their true state of weariness and confusion. The Lord desires that people will turn to Him and find rest for their souls. 

Matthew 9:35-38 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. (36) But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. (37) Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. (38) Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

This is what happened with Jesus and now was beginning to happen through His disciples.  The leaders did not want this to take place and so they were threatening, beating, and imprisoning the disciples so that a ‘people movement’ toward Jesus should not take place. 

What took place then is what is happening today.  The leaders of our world, do not want people to turn to Christ and find peace, joy, and fulfilment in life.  Isn’t this strange?

The world talks of giving people a good life but when Christ gives man, the fullness of life, we see such strong resistance from the leaders.  Luke 19:47-48 And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, (48) and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.

Why do leaders want to destroy what is good for everyone?  This is because the god of this age has blinded their minds.  II Corinthians 4:3-4 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, (4) whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

The Lord did not spare the leaders but He came down heavily on them.  Matthew 23:33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? How did the devil have such a grip on leaders?  It is because they gave a foothold to the devil and he has come in and taken control of their lives. John 12:43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

When we give room to ourselves or the appetites of the flesh then the devil will take control of us and he will cause us to go against the things of God.  Let us ensure not to give a foothold to the devil in any area of our lives.  Let us be yielded fully to the Lord for Him to have complete authority over us.

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