How to Break Satan’s Strongholds in Your Life
Ephesians 4:27, 30
As surely as my name is Adrian Rogers, I know there are many Christians who have a satanic stronghold in their life. It’s harming them, wrecking their spiritual life, contaminating the life of their family and church. The devil has found an unclean place within and built a foul nest, a beachhead, a stronghold there. And he uses that stronghold to war against God and His work.
Ephesians 4 says, 27 Neither give place to the devil… 30 and grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. We should sit up and take notice: on the one hand we could give place to the devil and on the other grieve the Holy Spirit. Either one should be unthinkable.
What does it mean to “give place to the devil”? Let’s say you own 50 acres of land, and I want one acre right in the middle of it. You sell it to me. Now I have the right to go into and out of your property at will, to get to my one acre. Supposed I start throwing trash around and paying loud music all hours of the night. I’m desecrating your property, but there’s nothing you can do—you’ve given me access. You try to make me leave, and I say, “I’m not going, and you can’t make me go. I’ve got a legal right to it. If you don’t like it, tough luck.” You wouldn’t be able to move me out because you gave me a place there.
Some of you have done the same thing for Satan! You can’t dislodge him unless you dislodge him legally because you’ve given him a place. He owns some strongholds in your life.
Here’s what you must do to dislodge the devil and break his strongholds. Three things:
Just before “Neither give place to the devil,” Paul says: 22…put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”
Be done with it, confess it, forsake it—there’s no other way to deal with sin. Repent—turn 1800 and walk the other way.
What gives place to the devil? 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
If you’re a liar, you’ve created a climate where the devil feels welcome. Lying is the devil’s nature. Jesus said, “The devil is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). He is the prince of darkness. God’s kingdom is built on truth. If there’s an area of dishonesty in your life, that will be the devil’s campground.
If you would steal so much as a fifteen cent pencil, you’ve made a place for the devil. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in that which is much and he that is unfaithful in that which is least is unfaithful also in that which is much” (Luke 16:10). Not may be, but is. With God, thievery is thievery. It makes no difference. You’re a thief.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,
5:4 And neither filthiness nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not convenient but rather giving of thanks. The devil is filthy. Do you gossip, assassinate character, and steal somebody’s reputation to make you feel better by trying to put them down? You’re a thief.
If you have a filthy mouth, it’s because you have a filthy heart. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Satan incubates and dwells in a filthy heart. You’ve given it to him and he’s going to make a stronghold out of it.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
If you’re bitter, you’re like the devil. He loves to find that kind of heart. If you’re bitter, you’ve got no joy, no victory, your prayers are not getting through to God. You’re ruining your own life and the lives around you, and contaminating the life of your church.
But the devil is not finished yet. Bitterness often leads to slander. The word devil literally means “Slanderer.” If you are a slanderer, a gossip, if you are speaking evil, you’re doing the devil’s work.
Your bitterness soon turns to wrath, burning on the inside—internal heat, like smoldering rags in an attic or closet. Then those smoldering rags burst into flames. That which is internal becomes external. But the devil is not finished yet. That anger then turns to clamor (shouting). Clamor turns to evil speaking. You start to say things you don’t mean, and now you’re out of control.
But you opened the door. The devil can take no place except what you gave him, and the Holy Spirit is weeping, heart broken.
Did you know you can break the heart of God? Can you imagine being saved, bought with the blood of Jesus, and this purchased temple has become a nest of Satan, and you opened the door. The dear Spirit of God is weeping and Satan is laughing, making a mockery of the things of God.
You gave him a place in your life. You’re not going to get that place back until you repent. Repentance is not just being broken over your sin, it is being broken from your sin. The Bible says put it away, be done with it.
Even after you repent, the devil is not going to walk out. After repentance there must be resistance.
27 Neither give place to the devil.
James 4:7 says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” What you gave him, you must take back. But you can never take it back until you take away his legal authority.
If there is sin in your life, every area where there is unconfessed sin is legal ground for Satan. Until you confess it and come for cleansing, Satan has every right to set up camp there. He’s not going to walk out. You’re going to have to run him out.
Even if you repent, you’ve still got to clean house. Go in there with a power of attorney, which is the name of Jesus, then take the blood of Jesus Christ as your authority, and you can say to him in no uncertain terms:
“Satan, I’ve given you a place, but I take it back in the name and the authority of Jesus. I clean it out, I repent of the sin, I cancel the debt, it’s all done. Devil, you have no more right, you have no more legal authority. Satan, I don’t shout at you. I don’t plead with you. I don’t argue with you. I don’t beg you. I bring Jesus Christ against you. You have no right, you have no authority. This body of mine is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God. You are trespassing on my Father’s property and in the name of Jesus whose I am and whom I serve, be gone.”
The Bible says he will flee from you. But if you try to resist the devil with unconfessed sin in your life, he will laugh in your face. He’ll say, “You gave me this piece of property and I am not moving out.” There must be repentance, then there can be resistance.
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness
It’s not enough to put off the old man; you must put on the new man. “And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:18.
To be “filled with the Spirit” means there’s not one room in your temple where God is shut out, not one closet He doesn’t have a key to. In your sex life, family life, business life, political life, church life, social life—in your money, your exercise, your sleep, your eating, “in my lying down, in my waking up, Jesus, I give you the keys to it all.” 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
You have a choice; you can grieve the Spirit of God and be filled with the devil or you can put the devil out and be filled with the Spirit of God.
You’re never going to cease grieving the Holy Spirit, you’re never going to expunge Satan from your life, until you choose against Satan and yield to God’s Holy Spirit. Take those three steps, repentance, resistance and renewal.