Close the Door
April 18, 2016 • By Ed Wrather
Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil (Do not give the devil an opportunity – AMP). Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:25-32 NKJV.
Just another morning for a PNC bank manager in Zebulon, North Carolina; until, he spotted a man wearing a mask, gloves, hoodie, and holding a gun. The bank manager sprang into action; he did not have time to lock the door so he held onto the door while the robber tried to pull the door open. It was a tug-of-war, but the manager won and the robber finally gave up and ran away. Thankfully, the robber did not fire his gun to try to gain entry. You just never know what may happen on a Monday morning! (ABC News; Fox News; AP 01.28.16)
What would have happened if the bank manager had not held the door closed preventing the robber from entering the bank? Most likely the robber would have entered the bank and demanded money. It is impossible to know how that scenario would have worked out. If the robber immediately was given all of the money he demanded and no one interfered the robbery may have ended without anyone being hurt. However, we know that sometimes robbers do not act rationally. One of the employees may have irritated him in some way resulting in the robber shooting the employee.
Just one week before the attempted robbery in North Carolina there was a bank robbery in Eufaula, Oklahoma. In Eufaula, the bank manager was shot and killed, a teller was shot but survived, and another employee was taken hostage. The robber was killed in a shootout with police and the hostage was also shot, but survived. Once the robber has entered through the open door there is no way to predict the damage that may occur.
In Ephesians 4 we are told not to give place to the devil, not to give the devil an opportunity. What happens if we give the devil an opportunity? There is no way to know for sure the damage that he will do. One thing for sure is that the devil will cause all of the damage in your life and the lives of those you care about that he possibly can. We open up the door for the devil when we sin. When we sin it’s like we have invited the devil to come in and cause us trouble; and, that old devil is very good at causing trouble, at creating havoc in lives. Close the door! Don’t give place to the devil! Don’t give the devil an opportunity to destroy your life! James 4:7-8a tells us how to close the door, “…submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”