Give no place to the enemy!
The enemy is very subtle. This is why the scriptures tell us in the book of Ephesians:
Ephesians 4: 26 -27
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
Neither give place to the devil.
The enemy is a thief. What do thieves do? They take advantage of loopholes or carelessness and jump in. This is why the bible says that we should give no place to the devil. Don’t give him an opportunity.
When we look at the account of Peter denying the Lord. The Lord started off by warning Peter and said:
Luke 22: 31 – 34
31And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
33And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me
From this account, Peter did not intend to deny the Lord. That was not his intention. Peter clearly stated in verse 33, ‘Lord l am ready to go with you both to prison and to death’.
However when you look at verse 31 the Lord said ; Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat’. This is clearly the origin and source of what happened, it was all an attack from the enemy.
This is why we need to pray for one another and also be very careful when we hear things about others. The Lord said ‘ he had prayed for Peter’, thank God for a ever faithful Lord. It was the Lords prayers that saved Peter and it is our prayers that will deliver and save others.
So how did the enemy achieve his attack? It must have been through a weakness in Peter, he must have been afraid. From knowing what the enemy intended to do, all the maids and those asking Peter if he knew the Lord was all a set up from the enemy.
Luke 22: 54 – 61
54Then took they him (Jesus), and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.
55And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
56But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.
57And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.
58And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.
59And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.
60And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
61And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
62And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
Thank God that the Lord had prayed for Peter. The enemy had a greater agenda which failed.
Does this sound familiar today? We hear of alleged sex offences, and all sorts from people of God. While we do not justify these actions, we need to pray for one another so the enemy does not fulfil his agenda. So many have left ministry and aborted destiny because of a sin. While we do not justify those actions, we need to be merciful and pray for one another. When we criticise others that fall or fail instead of praying for them, we expose them to the plot of the enemy. We must give no place for the enemy to devour our wounded brethren.
Peter later on in the book of Acts did exploits for the Lord.
Acts 5: 14- 15
14And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)
15Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
Many of our wounded soldiers have great destiny ahead of them. One perspective of the scripture ‘give no place to the enemy’ is that we should not allow the enemy to sift our brethren when they fail or fall.
Another side to this is that we need to be very careful to give no place to the enemy. That slight mistake, wrong decision, sin, may lead to so much more heart ache. We should give no place to the enemy.
Next time you hear a slander, ask yourself, is this a plot of the enemy to sift this person and pray. Even as the Lord prayed for Peter.