By Tyson Thorne

January 30, 2018

There were four days in 1944 that changed the face of the war against the Japanese. It was during the Second World War and Japan had to thsi point maintained a shield of islands between their mainland and much of the Pacific ocean. On January 31, American forces overwhelmed their enemy on the Kwajalein Atoll taking on 3,500 of the enemy and leaving only 51 survivors. It gave the American forces a foothold in the Marshall Islands and allowed them to island hop all the way to Japan. Although each battle was successively more difficult, it resulted in winning the war.

"Do not give the devil a foothold. The one who steals must steal no longer; rather he must labor, doing good with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with the one who has need. You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you." — Ephesians 4.27-32

In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the apostle Paul warns us to not give the devil a foothold in our lives. What can seem a small thing, like a single atoll in the Pacific ocean, can lead to vast amounts of destruction in our lives. This is why Paul tells his readers to no longer commit the small sins of his culture, petty robbery, harmful words — anything that might grieve the Holy Spirit that lives within us as God's children. In our culture it might be white lies, taking credit for something we didn't do ourselves, or even taking office supplies from school or work. Small sins lead us to bigger sins, until our conscience becomes seared and we are no longer the light God intends us to be. We become like the rest of the world around us, dark and sinful.

When our spirit darkens we are no longer useful to God, and our adversary has won an important victory. He has won by diminishing God's presence in the world, by removing one of the key players God has in redeeming others and in assisting the helpless. But the converse can also be true. By Eliminating sin from our lives and living rightly, we give God the foothold in our lives. By becoming a brighter light in the world, God can use us more greatly to gain a foothold in the lives of others.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Due to a bout with the flu, this weeks writing will be limited.

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