The picture is
that the enemy is crouched like a wild animal at the door of the soul
mind, will, and emotions) ready to spring through the open door, set up
a stronghold of lies to protect himself, and devour us.
This means that we actually invite him into our lives to set up a stronghold. Whenever, we seek knowledge or power from the supernatural other than through God, we are giving the enemy an invitation to come into our souls and set up a stronghold. This usually happens when we rebel against God or authorities over us. "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king" (I Samuel 15:23). Whenever, a Believer seeks a psychic or looks to a horoscope for answers, he is vulnerable to the enemy entering into his life. I know of a Christian young man who rebelled against his father and got involved in Satanism. It can even be dangerous going to a "fortune teller" at a church Halloween Party. Solomon gives us a grave warning, "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27).II. A common method of the enemy is through TEMPTATION.
This method is like dangling a carrot before the donkey. The enemy dangles the pleasure of sin before us. This quite often comes through the lust of the flesh or the lust of the eyes. "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed" (James 1:14). Remember what happened to David. "And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon" (II Samuel 11:2). It is like what may happen to the man who is going through marriage difficulties. In the midst of the difficulties, a younger and more attractive woman than his wife happens to show up on the scene and opens the door to adultery through flirtation.III. One of the most unrecognized methods of the enemy is through INTRUSION.
We normally don't think of this method because he comes to us with a mask on which appears to look just like us (ourselves). He invades our minds through our thoughts. One way that he invades our thoughts is through dreams. We may have dreams that come though our assimilation the experiences of the day. We may also have dreams from God, but sometimes we may have dreams that come from the enemy. For years, I had a reoccurring dream of being before a sizable congregation of people to deliver the message of God. I would be excited that so many people had come. However, when I stood to speak, most everyone would get up and leave. I would awake feeling that there must be something really wrong with me. Then one day, I awoke to the fact that although I am not as eloquent as some speakers might be, that God had called me to speak. I began to rebuke the enemy when I would have such a dream. That virtually stopped those nightmares. Furthermore, we have all had thoughts that we assumed came from self that were condemning thoughts. Most likely they originated with the devil. "And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand" (I Samuel 18:10)IV. Another method which the enemy may use is our unbridled IMAGINATION.
I have had people tell me that I don't have an open mind to their ungodly ideas. I grew up in West Texas when we had some major dust storms that would darken the sky at noonday. You may open the window to let some fresh air into the house, but you may also get a lot of dirt into your house. There are some places to which that we should not allow our mind wonder. "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Romans 1:21). "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:5). A man can in his imagination undress a beautiful woman in his mind, but Jesus warns us about doing so. "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).V. The enemy often enters the soul of the individual through an EMPTY MIND.
Once when I was in college taking a Psychology class, the professor asked everyone in the class to close their eyes and empty their minds. Immediately, red flags came up in my mind and purposed to fill my mind with prayer to God. Jesus warns us about an empty mind. "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation" (Matthew 12:43-45). Hypnotists often begin by asking their subjects to empty their minds. When the guard to our mind lays down, the enemy may enter in even without our knowing about it.VI. The enemy may also lure us into his trap through INFATUATION.
This may begin through what may seem like a miracle or magic. People are often lured into the trap through the study of parapsychology or the world of the supernatural. The expression is that curiosity kills the cat. "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect" (Mark 13:22). We must remember that the deceiver can do signs. "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live" (Revelation 13:13-14). Infatuation, often leads to an obsession which also is a type of bondage in and of itself.VII. Quite often, we people unknowingly open the door to the enemy through UNFORGIVENESS.
"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15). "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled" (Hebrews 12:15). When we fail to forgive the offenses of others, we open the door to the tormentors (evil spirits). "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses" (Matthew 18:35). When we fail to forgive, we don't receive forgiveness. The enemy has "legal rights" to enter and remain there. There is also a need to forgive self as well as others.VIII. Many people allow the enemy come in through FEAR, WORRY, or ANXIETY.
We see this clearly in the life of Job. Although Job didn't sin with his actions or by cursing God. He opened the door to the enemy through "fear". He offered sacrifices for his sons just in case they might have sinned, he had many guards for his possessions, and he was afraid of losing his health. "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came" (Job 3:25-26). Basically, he was saying that he did what was right, but knew it wouldn't do any good anyway. In contrast, Peter states, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:7-8). We have the option either to cast all our cares upon the Lord or face the roaring lion and he will devour our lives as he roars. He is not toothless as some well meaning preachers have advocated.IX. Some people allow the enemy to come in through STUBBORNNESS.
Stubbornness is doing things your own way in spite of repeated warnings. Asa got sick and died because of his stubbornness. "And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign" (II Chronicles 16:12-13). A Bible term for stubbornness is "stiffnecked". "Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you" (II Chronicles 30:8).X. The enemy may enter through our focusing upon NEGATIVE THOUGHTS.
Some people seem always to look at the glass as being half empty. Ten of the twelve spies that searched out the promised land came back with an evil report because they looked at the negative. "And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight" (Numbers 13:32-33). When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water at the word of Jesus, he did well until he began to focus on the storm. "And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me" (Matthew 14:29-30). We also may well sink when we focus our attention on the negative. In contrast, there are some things upon which we are to think. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).XI. The enemy often enters through the door of our ANGER.
Prophets often fall into this trap. "And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem" (Acts 21:10-12). However, Paul knew that he was to go to Jerusalem even if it meant imprisonment.
"And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him" (Genesis 4:3-7). Cain was "wroth" very angry. This opened the door for sin to come into his life. It was like a wild animal crouched at the door ready to spring through the opening. "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:6-27). We are permitted to be angry one day, but not two. If we remain angry longer than one day, we leave the door to our soul open for the enemy to come into our soul and set up a stronghold.XII. The enemy may enter through GENERATIONAL CURSES.
"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me" (Exodus 20:5). "Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities" (Lamentations 5:7). We can be born with a bent toward sin without acting upon it. "I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity" (Psalms 18:23). However, once we act upon it, it become a stronghold of the enemy (a sin habit, an addiction). David said, "For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me" (Psalms 38:4). However, Jesus came to set us free from generational curses. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (Galatians 3:13-14).XIII. The enemy may enter through WORD CURSES.
There are two sides to word curses. First, when we place negative judgments over others, we are subject to God's judgment ourselves. "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (Matthew 7:1-2). Second, word curses occur when there is negative communication by words, expressions, or actions by those in authority or those whom you have considered to be in authority over you, including my own words or thoughts. "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matthew 12:36-37).
The Wounded Heart