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Not Giving the Devil His Due

Worldly cliches are tiresome and vexing to the soul. One of the most outrageous to this writer is "Give the Devil His Due". I have never understood the intent behind that statement, but it does make the meaning of the Apostle Paul's words much clearer in his letter to the Ephesians, where he writes "Neither give place to the Devil."

In one of my Bible classes many years ago, the students were given an examination that was comprised of several multiple choice and essay questions. One of the essay questions required students to write everything they knew about the Holy Spirit. The other question made the same requirement for everything known about Satan.

Most of the class completed the test with time to spare, but one moderately retarded young man who was only auditing the class was obviously struggling to complete the test in the time allotted. When the instructor, who was also our Pastor, announced that the allotted time had expired, the young man was the only student who had not finished. He stopped writing, ran his paper quickly up to the instructor and then turned to return to his seat.

The Pastor called after him in a gentle voice, "John, you didn't finish the examination. You forgot to write about Satan." John, without looking back at the Pastor abruptly replied, "Sorry, but I have no time for Satan." Reaching his desk, he grabbed up his books and other possessions in one big heap and clumsily hurried out of the classroom as was his custom when he felt embarrassed by his disability.

At the start of the next class, the Pastor called John up in front of the room and announced to the class that he had received an "A" on the examination. John looked puzzled because he knew that he had not had time to finish and had turned in an incomplete test. Before he could say anything, however, the Pastor said "John, I know you didn't finish the test because you ran out of time, but your oral response was better and wiser than anything you could have written. You said 'I have no time for Satan' and truly, that is all we need to know about him. If every Christian could learn that lesson, we would all get an "A" from the Lord. Congratulations."

John was not always quick to catch on to things, but he understood every word the Pastor had said and he was beaming as he made his way back to his chair. I don't think there was a dry eye in the classroom as we all cheered and applauded for him.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians "Neither give place to the devil" (Eph. 4:27 kjv). If you read this in conjunction with Romans chapter 7, where Paul speaks of the weakness and failings of his own fleshArticle Search, you will understand that Paul was speaking from personal experience. He was encouraging Christians of his day and of generations to follow to resist temptation and to not allow any room in their lives for Satan.

Believers need to ensure that there is no place in their lives where Satan can find entry. We should conduct self-examinations to ensure that none of our time is spent for him.

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The author is a retired Coast Guard Officer with over 32 years of service. He is also a Baptist Preacher and Bible Teacher. He helps those grieving the loss of a pet to understand the Biblical evidence that proves they live on. His most popular book, "Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates" delivers hope and comfort to the reader in a very gentle, yet convincing way. Visit at for more information and tips.

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