If ever there was a time when our homes and families were under attack by the powers of Satan, it is in the day and time in which we live.
Of course, I don’t believe in looking for a demon under every rock. And I don’t think that we should be unbalanced when we talk about spiritual warfare. But the truth is, as Apostle Paul said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, and spiritual rulers of darkness” (Ephesians 6:12) in this world.
Yet, many people, even those within the church, don’t acknowledge the existence of Satan or of evil. The French poet Charles Baudelaire famously said, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
Just as the Holy Spirit is attracted to atmospheres of praise and worship, I believe Satan is attracted to atmospheres that glorify what he stands for — the opposition of all that is good, pure and holy.
In the book of James, we read, “For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind” (James 3:16). Therefore, followers of Jesus need to take this truth seriously and not allow their homes to become open to the influences of evil.
There are three “gates” we must guard so that evil can’t infiltrate our hearts and homes:
The gate of our eyes
Jesus said, “If the eye is pure, then everything is pure. But if your eye becomes filled with darkness and corruption, and immorality, then it will affect your whole soul” (Matthew 6:22-23).
In order to guard the gate of our eyes, we routinely need to ask ourselves these questions: What am I watching on television? What am I or my children looking at on the internet? What am I reading? What has consumed my thoughts, my energy and my focus?
By engaging in thoughtful reflection, we can begin to identify those things that are negatively influencing our lives and hindering our relationships with God and with our loved ones.
The gate of our mouth
The Bible is clear that our homes ought to be places where God is honored. Are we speaking life or death to our spouses and our children? Do our conversations serve to uplift them or cause them to feel discouraged and ashamed? Jesus said, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
Additionally, what kind of things are we consuming? I believe substance abuse and gluttony can give Satan an inroad into our homes. If we lack self-control, then we invite all kinds of thieves into our lives, thieves like addiction and violence that will “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
The gate of our ears
Just as we must guard what enters our eyes and mouth, so we must guard our ears. We know that children internalize and repeat what they hear. But so do adults. What voices are you listening to? Do they speak truth into your heart or do they flood your mind with lies, fears and profanities?
Your spiritual health depends in large part on who surrounds you and how you treat others. James 3:14-16 says, “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” We must make sure we seek out people who will encourage us in our spiritual journey, and we must make sure we love God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves.
So, what can we do to guard our gates?
Scripture shows us repeatedly that our defense is in the blood of the Lamb. Hebrews 12:24 tells us the blood of Christ “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” When we take communion in our homes, when we take the bread, which symbolizes his body, and the fruit of the vine, which symbolizes his blood, then we allow his peace, joy, righteousness and redemptive work to have its way in our hearts and homes.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can guard our eyes, mouths and ears by filling them with the word of God. Philippians 4:6-8 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
When was the last time you walked through your home and prayed, “Holy Spirit, You are welcome in this place. Holy Spirit, we need you in the life of our family. Holy Spirit, help me as i guard the gates of my eyes, mouth and ears.”?
I urge you to “fight the good fight” for those in your home because “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). And he doesn’t play fair. If you give him an inroad, he will come in. But when God is honored in our homes, we can be confident in his protection and peace because Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).
The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
Photo courtesy: Annie Spratt/Unsplash
Pastor Marcus Mecum is founder and senior pastor of 7 Hills Church. He has led 7 Hills in following Christ and loving their community for over 15 years. Pastor Marcus’ prayer is to see the body of Christ truly living out its call to be the hands and feet of Jesus to one another and the world around them. Hear from Pastor Marcus every day in your inbox with Daily Bread with PM, a short devotional with resources to help you grow in your faith.