We owned and worked a 100 acre sugar cane farm for many years.
We had rainwater tanks at the house for drinking and cooking, but most of our water came from an underground bore in the middle of the farm. The water was pumped down to the house through an underground pipe. The bore needed servicing at times and the pressure pump sometimes gave trouble.
When we sold the farm to a near neighbour, we surveyed off 1 acre around the house and stayed there for a few years before eventually selling that house and buying a house in town. Part of the agreement in selling the farm was the granting of a right of way through the farm, giving us access to the water bore and the buried pipe.
I was reminded of that right of way when reading Ephesians this morning. Ephesians 4:27 warns us not to “give place to the devil” or as NIV puts it “Do not give the devil a foothold.”
When we make less than a full surrender to the Lord, keeping back a small area for ourselves, we are in effect giving the devil a foothold or a right of way to his property, because anything not committed to the Lord RIGHTFULLY BELONGS to the devil. When we follow our own way instead of seeking and following God’s way, we are giving the devil a right of way or a foothold.
Thinking about this, I re-read Robert Boyd Munger’s little booklet “My Heart Christ’s Home” which expresses the same idea very graphically.
Among his opening words he states “Without question one of the most remarkable Christian doctrines is that Jesus Christ Himself, through the Holy Spirit will actually enter a life, settle down and be at home there.” Then he pictures Christ as living in each “room” of his life and transforming it. The last room – the hardest to surrender – was the hall closet and then finally he gave Him the keys and the title deed as rightful Owner rather than Guest.
The booklet presents a few challenges as we are faced with how much we hold back from His control . . . . . and by the same token, how we tend to keep that “acre in the middle” so allowing the devil easy access.
We needed a right of way to access the bore on the farm. That right of way was essential, but if I grant a right of way or a tiny foothold to the devil I can expect problems.
Ephesians 4:27 Do not give the devil a foothold.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves to God; resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Romans 8:37 We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us
Surrendering one’s will to the Divine will may seem a negative procedure,
but it gives positive dividends.
How much of my life (your life) is left unsurrendered and needs attention?