WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 9 , 2021
TOPIC: IF YOU GIVE THE DEVIL AN INCH, HE WILL TAKE A MILE!
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then he [Ben-hadad]sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, and said to him, ‘Thus says Ben-Hadad: Your silver and your gold are mine; your loveliest wives and children are mine.’ And the king of Israel answered and said, ‘My lord, O king, just as you say, I and all that I have are yours’” (1 Kings 20:2-4 New King James Version).
Don’t give the devil an inch in your life. He is not a gentleman! If you give him an inch, he will take a mile. If you yield a small ground to him, he will ask you for more. Reach no compromise with him; he won’t keep agreement! Let there be no negotiation with him. Ephesians 4:27b says not to give place to the devil.
Treat the devil as he is. He is a thief, and his mission is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a). The Bible says he was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth; there is no truth in him and when he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
In 1 Kings 20, we see the image of the devil in Ben-Hadad, king of Syria. He besieged Samaria, the capital of Israel, and launched an attack against it with the support of thirty-two allied kings. Having gained an advantage over Israel, he sent messages to Ahab, king of Israel, with a demand. That’s how the devil operates. He seeks to gain an advantage over you and control you. Don’t allow him.
Verse 2-4 says, “Then he [Ben-hadad] sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, and said to him, ‘Thus says Ben-Hadad: Your silver and your gold are mine; your loveliest wives and children are mine.’ And the king of Israel answered and said, ‘My lord, O king, just as you say, I and all that I have are yours’” (New King James Version).
Notice that Ahab, the king of a sovereign nation called a fellow king, “My lord, O king.” That tells you that Aab had been defeated psychologically and he was acting as if Israel was a vassal state of Syria. Ben-Hadad could see that Ahab had acted weakly by yielding to his request. You would think that Ben-Hadad would be satisfied and stop at that since he would dispossess Ahab of his silver, gold, and loveliest wives and children.
Obviously, it was not easy for Ahab to have agreed to surrender his loveliest or the best of his wives and children. But Ben-Hadad wasn’t still satisfied with that. He wanted more. The devil always wants more. You can’t pacify or satisfy him. It’s useless.
Hear this: “Then the messengers came back and said, ‘Thus speaks Ben-Hadad, saying, ‘Indeed I have sent to you, saying, ‘You shall deliver to me your silver and your gold, your wives and your children’; but I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants. And it shall be, that whatever is pleasant in your eyes, they will put it in their hands and take it’” (verses 5-6 New King James Version).
At this point, Ahab suspected there would be no end to the demand of Ben-Hadad. He, therefore, summoned all the elders of the land saying, “Notice, please, and see how this man seeks trouble, for he sent to me for my wives, my children, my silver, and my gold; and I did not deny him” (verse 7 New King James Version). Perhaps he should have called this meeting earlier but it was better late than never. Notice he called Ben-Hadad “This man”! But he referred to Ben-Hadad as “My lord, O king” before Ben-Hadad’s messengers (verse 4). That showed that he wasn’t himself.
The elders were brave. They told Ahab not to give in to the demand of Ben-Hadad. Ahab communicated this decision back to Ben-Hadad through his messengers. Expectedly, he was livid with anger and threatened to destroy Samaria. Hear Ahab’s reply: “Tell him, ‘Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off’” (verse 11 New King James Version). In other words, “A warrior still dressing for battle should not boast like a warrior who has already won” (New Living Translation).
The summary of it is that there was war between Syria and Israel. Israel, with the support and guidance of a prophet of God, roundly defeated the Syrian allied forces. When Ben-Hadad’s forces regrouped and attacked Israel, Israel again defeated them with the support and guidance of the same prophet of God. Unfortunately, Ahab mismanaged that victory by setting Ben-Hadad free after making a new treaty with him.
This is the point: if Ahab had continued to give more concession to Ben-Hadad, he would have kept asking for more. This is just how the devil operates. Don’t give the devil any room. You can’t appease or please him. If he has a small victory, he will come back again.
In Luke 11:11-15, the Bible records the story of the widow of Nain. The devil was not satisfied with killing her husband but came back and killed her only son. The devil always asks for more. Also, in Ruth 1;1-5, after killing Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, the devil came back and killed her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, leaving her with two widowed daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah. Don’t give the devil any opportunity. He will do more.
You must stop the devil. Put him to flight. Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Unfortunately, some people assist the devil; they don’t resist him. Resist the devil; don’t assist Him.
Let the devil not make an in-road to your life. For example, Ephesians 4:27b says anger gives a mighty foothold (opportunity) to the devil. Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools” (New King James Version). Don’t be a fool. The foothold you give the devil will soon become a stronghold!
Don’t tolerate a problem by calling it small or little. The issue of blood that a woman in the Bible had must have started as a small issue! But this flow of blood lasted 12 years before Jesus healed her (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:42-48). That illness siphoned her finances until she became poor. The Bible says she had suffered many things from many physicians and spent all that she had and was no better but rather grew worse (Mark 5:26; Luke 8:43). Give no room to the devil.
Don’t let the devil dispossess you of your health, spouse, children, family members, ministry, work, business, destiny, or treasured possessions. You won’t suffer any loss of life or property in Jesus’ name. The Lord shall preserve you and all yours. Don’t give the devil an inch or else he will take a mile. Don’t give him any opportunity.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Satan, I shall give no room to you in my life, destiny, home, business, ministry, etc. I resist you in Jesus’ name; I will not assist you. I shut the door against the devil in my life. Satan, I put a stop to your operation anywhere in my life and command you to leave. I cast you out in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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