WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 4, 2021
TOPIC: STOP SATAN FROM TAKING ADVANTAGE OF YOU
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11 New King James Version).
Forgiveness is a very important subject in the Bible. Nobody can become a child of God without the forgiveness of his sins. God forgave and still forgives our sins, because of the death of His Son, Jesus. God has purchased our freedom with the blood of Jesus and has forgiven all our sins (Colossians 1:14). “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7 New King James Version). Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22).
In addition to the forgiveness of our sins by God, the Bible also talks about forgiving the sins of those who offend us. Many people have problems in this area. Because, often, the sins are very painful and sometimes serious, they find it difficult to forgive. They either decide not to forgive and live with bitterness or they refuse to forgive and seek revenge. Neither is approved by the Word of God.
The Word of God says to forgive because you also have received forgiveness from God. And you’ll also continue to need His forgiveness because you’re not perfect. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:9-10 New King James Version).
It is not your job to punish those who have wronged you; leave vengeance to God (Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalm 94:1; Hebrews 10:30). In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray that God will forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us (Matthew 6:12). Luke 11:4 says a similar thing.
In Matthew 18:21, Peter asked Jesus how many times his brother could sin against him and he would be right not to forgive him. He asked if seven was all right. Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (verse 22 New King James Version). In other words, there is no end to forgiving others.
Satan has many devices or schemes that he uses against human beings, and believers, many times, fall victims to them. One of such devices is the sin of unforgiveness. Paul told the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, “Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11 New King James Version).
The sinner in question in the passage above had been disciplined by the church following an earlier letter by Paul (verse 9). But Paul said, “Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise he may become so discouraged that he won’t be able to recover. Now show him that you still love him” (verses 7-8 New Living Translation).
Discipline is necessary, but forgiveness is also necessary. Jesus said, “It is impossible that no offenses should come” (Luke 17:1 New King James Version). In other words, there will always be temptations to sin. When people sin against you, it also provides an opportunity for you to sin or an occasion to stumble. If you don’t forgive, you sin. If you forgive, you overcome the temptation to sin.
Remember that Paul said, “I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:10b-11 New King James Version). Unfortunately, many Christians are ignorant of Satan’s devices! Therefore, Satan has taken advantage of them. He has taken advantage of husbands and wives, church members and pastors, brothers and sisters, etc. because they refused to forgive those who have sinned against them. No matter your argument, there is no justification for unforgiveness.
Paul said forgiveness is necessary “So as to prevent Satan from taking advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11 Twentieth Century New Testament). It is necessary “so that Satan may not get the better of us: for we are not without knowledge of his designs (Bible in Basic English). Forgiveness is necessary “so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are very familiar with his evil schemes” (New Living Translation). It is necessary so “that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes (World English Bible).
Satan has taken advantage of many Christians i-e cheated them, in many ways, because they’ve refused to forgive their spouses, children, relations, employers, pastors, bosses, neighbours, etc. Some of them have been defrauded of their spiritual and physical health, promotion, breakthrough, finances, marriages, businesses, ministry, etc. Many people’s lives are going down because of unforgiveness. How long should anyone continue on this sorrowful journey?
I agree that some wrongs are not too easy to forgive (and forget) but you must forgive in your own interest. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you must return to former relationships or resume the old relationships. Forgiveness means to release or let go of a debtor (sinner) – cancelling a debt. It is not denying or encouraging the wrong but letting it go.
Receive grace from God to forgive, no matter the injury. As a human being, you may still remember the wrongs sometimes. But each time you remember, forgive again – confess that you have forgiven the fellow. Let God, in His own way, deal with the person. Let Him heal your wound.
There is no sin too grave that you can’t forgive. Don’t be like the unforgiving servant whose story is told by Jesus in Matthew 18. This wicked servant was forgiven his huge debt by his master, but he refused to forgive a fellow servant who owed him just a little debt (verses 23-35). Jesus concluded the parable by saying, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35 New King James Version). Forgive from your heart, not by mouth alone.
We must forgive. Forgive “so that Satan would not win anything from us, because we know very well what Satan’s plans are” (New Century Version). Help yourself; forgive everyone even if they’ve not asked for it. “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression” (Proverbs 19:11 New King James Version). The New Living Translation says, “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” It is in your own interest to forgive. Satan has taken advantage of you enough. Stop him now! Forgive from your heart.
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: Father, I repent of unforgiveness. Satan, you will not take advantage of me. Father, I forgive, from my heart, everyone who has wronged me, just as You’ve forgiven my own sins. Satan, you will not win anything from me 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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