Finding Freedom Part 3: Open Doors

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The past two weeks we have talked about knowing our enemy and how he attacks. Last week we looked at the ministry of deliverance and how demons can influence a Christian’s life. We defined what demon possession was and talked about how Christians can be influenced by demons. This week we are going to look at how a demon can enter into your life and keep you in bondage to sin and other destructive patterns.

I. The influence of the spirit of this world

Ephesians 2:1-3: Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

The whole world has been influenced to some degree by the Spirit of Disobedience and is resistant to God Almighty. Until you were redeemed by the work of the cross and came into relationship with Jesus, you lived according to your sinful nature and were subject to God’s wrath.

Romans 6:1-11: Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

The cross has freed us from the power of sin. We are to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive in Christ.

Romans 6:12-14: Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

Don’t let sin control you. Don’t give into sinful desires. We see a clear picture that we still have to deal with our flesh. We can return into bondage if we give into our sinful nature.

Romans 6:15-18: Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.

We become a slave to whatever we choose to obey. Choosing a lifestyle of sin will make us a slave to sin. Choosing a lifestyle of obedience God’s Word will make us a slave to righteous living.

All human bondage comes from the Spirit of Disobedience in one of four ways:

  1. Neglected Responsibility

    • Example: if you neglect your yard, weeds will overtake your lawn

    • Proverbs 4:23: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

  2. Innocent Ignorance

    • Engaging in spiritually dangerous activities, despite not fully aware of repercussions

    • Example: as a kid I played with a Ouija Board and did other things that I should not have; the fact that I did those things out of innocence doesn’t change the fact that I opened doors for the enemy to enter

  3. Sinful Rebellion

    • Knowingly engaging in sin or rebellion for whatever reason

    • Example: a child brought up in the church deciding to do whatever they want and walk away from God simply because they can

  4. Passive Victimization

    • Something that happened to you that you may not have invited or allowed on your own

    • Examples: molestation, physical or verbal abuse, negligent parents, generational curses

    • Exodus 20:4-5: You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.

Mark 7:24-30: Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret. Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil spirit, and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter. Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.” “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.

Tyre was formerly known as Phoenicia. Jezebel was from Phoenicia and brought Baal worship, sorcery, witchcraft and paganism into Israel when she married King Ahab. Phoenica was an occult city.

Syria represents pride throughout the Bible.

Pride and witchcraft are signs of the occult. Believers who think that they can dabble in the occult and not be affected by it are prideful. If you read horoscopes, watch demonic movies, go to haunted houses, play demonic video games, go to palm reading, you are dabbling in the occult, and you are opening doors to the enemy. How did this young girl get demonized? Through her mother’s connection to the occult.

II. Open doors

Ephesians 4:17-19: With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

Don’t live as a lost person - hardened hearts towards God, lacking a sense of shame, living for lustful pleasures and practicing every kind of impurity.

Ephesians 4:20-24: But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

Through a relationship with Jesus we have learned through the Word how we are supposed to live. We are to throw off the old sinful nature. This is exactly what Jesus said to Lazarus when He raised him from the dead. He told him to throw off the grave clothes. He was no longer dead, but was alive!

Ephesians 4:25-32: So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

He is telling them to stop lying, don’t let anger control you, stop stealing, and don’t use foul or abusive language. All these things describe Satan. When we are doing these things, we are like Satan.

Ephesians 4:26-27: And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Anger can be destructive. We can do thing that we regret in our anger. We can say destructive things that we don’t mean in our anger, and we can even take someone’s life in anger.

If we don’t deal with anger immediately, we could give a foothold to the devil.

Foothold

  • tŏpŏs.

    • dwelling place, license.

      • We give the enemy a license to do whatever he wants to us.

Ephesians 4:31-32: Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Get rid of these things. Instead be kind to retaliate, forgive and don’t hold grudges or bitterness. Forgive just as Christ has forgiven you.

III. More open doors

1 John 2:15-17: Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Most of the doors that we open for the enemy will fall into one of these three categories:

  1. The Lust of the Flesh

    • Hunger for food or thirst, sex drive, addiction

  2. The Lust of the Eyes

    • Visual or mental pleasure, pornography, coveting

  3. The Pride of Life

    • power, fame, respect, money, greed, materialism

Think about the ways that Satan tempted Jesus:

Luke 4:3-4: Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’”

The lust of the flesh. Jesus was hungry from fasting for 40 days.

Luke 4:5-8: Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

The lust of the eyes. He showed him the kingdom of the worlds and offered him the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them.

Luke 4:3-12: Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’ ” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”

The pride of life. Satan took him to the temple and challenged him top prove that He was the son of God. If he jumped off the angels would save him.

The enemy is trying to find open doors into your life so that he can destroy you. He even tried it on Jesus, but Jesus knew and lived out the truth to keep himself from falling into temptation. The enemy is relentless and will continue to find ways into your life to try and influence you. Don’t give the enemy a foothold. My prayer for us today is to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any doors that you may have opened. This may have occurred through neglected responsibility, it may have happened through innocent ignorance, maybe you are walking in sinful rebellion because you have allowed your heart to get hardened and you just don’t care anymore, or maybe it’s through passive victimization. You couldn’t control what you went through but it has brought you into bondage nonetheless. The good news is that doors can be closed. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any doors that may have been opened in your life.