Do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:27)
The definition of the word appease means to pacify or placate someone by agreeing or giving in to his or her demands. When it comes to our adversary the devil, we appease him every time we give in to his temptations. The Bible is filled with examples of those who appeased the adversary, whether by a word, a look, or a deed. Abraham appeased the adversary with a word when he tried to pawn his wife Sarah off as his sister to save his own skin. David appeased the adversary with a look when he lusted after Bathsheba and sent for her to be brought to his bedroom chambers. Peter appeased the adversary when he withdrew from eating and associating with the Gentiles for fear of the Jews.
So how do we keep from appeasing the adversary, refusing to give him even a foothold? We do what Jesus did. When Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to do battle with Satan, He used the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The devil cannot gain a foothold when we focus on God’s Word. Jesus met every temptation by saying, “It is written . . .” and you and I must be ready, willing, and able to do the same, lest we appease the adversary. And the only way we can be ready, willing, and able to effectively use the Word as a weapon against the wiles of the evil one is to become students of Scripture. We must make it our pillar of cloud by day and our pillar of fire by night and be willing to follow wherever it leads us.
It is the Word of God that will strengthen the people of God through the ministry of the Spirit of God. When we neglect the Word, we find ourselves living according to our old nature more than by our new supernatural nature. We all know from personal experience that our old carnal nature loves to appease the adversary. We shrink from struggle; we cower from challenges; we pull back from pain . . . all the while giving the devil a foothold that weakens our faith.
Appeasement is the confession of a life that surrenders to sin and self-deception and says, “Just this one time and no more.” Know this: giving in to the temptations of the adversary only weakens us for the next assault. To keep from appeasing the adversary we must go on the counterattack with the Word of God. The more we are in the Word, the more the Word will be in us! As students of Scripture, we will be able to withstand the attacks of the adversary rather than appease them, and we will find ourselves saying with the apostle Paul, “We did not give in to them for a moment” (Galatians 2:5).
Remember, life always presents us with two choices; we can appease the adversary or please the Almighty. The first choice shrinks our lives down to the size of our lives, where we are living for the self. The second expands our lives to the edges of God’s kingdom, where we are living for the Savior. What is your choice today?
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!