1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
There is a very silly teaching in the Church that the devil has rights. The teaching goes along the lines of, if you sin, you open the door to your life, and give permission to the devil to come in. I believed that myself for many years when I was in the bonds of religion. Of course, this is complete nonsense.
It would akin to saying if a husband and wife have a bad argument at home, they suddenly open the doors to their house for a thief to come in and rob them. Even if the doors to your house ARE open and a thief comes into the house, the thief has no right to be there. If the thief had rights, he wouldn’t be called a thief, he would be called Repossession-man coming to take back what is his.
What invites the devil is your faith in the lie, that sin invites the devil into your life. Because you believe that, he will come and you will be tormented BY YOUR FAITH. If you believe that sin invites the devil that will be your experience and true for you. I’ve seen the level of demonic activity in a church that teaches these things skyrocket, because people believe it, the devil finally gets some attention and he inhabits the place.
Similarly, if we teach things to people such as, the Devil always comes to tempt you before a big breakthrough, guess what happens to those that believe that? The Devil comes, not because that is a true statement, rather because that’s what they believe, and he will accommodate their faith. Then their theology is built on their experience rather than on the Scriptures.
We see an example of what I mean in the New Testament in Corinthians Church. Paul cited that there was Fornication unlike that he had even seen amongst the Gentiles (1 Corinthians 5:1). Paul’ then gives instruction on what to do with the person responsible, 1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Even in the midst of the fornication, Satan had no right just to come and afflict this person, the passage suggests that he somehow had to be “delivered to Satan.”
The devil has no rights. In fact he is so defeated the only thing more defeated is your old sinful nature. The reason 1 Peter 5:8, says that he is seeking whom he may devour, is because he cannot devour everyone. In fact, in the Spiritual realm, he doesn’t know if it is you or if it is Jesus he looking at, because we are Joined to Christ and we are one spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17).
Colossians 3:3 for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
The reason the devil is “seeking,” is because he cannot find you. Your life is hidden in the safest place God could find, in Himself. The Glory of the Lord consumes you and in the Spiritual realm the Devil is clueless as to who you really are. His method of attack isn’t by rights and permission, rather is guerrilla warfare. From time to time, if he cannot find someone, he pounces on his best guess, which is why even for the best of us, we still go through hard trials.
Now, we can sell ourselves out by our behavior, confessions and believing the lies. Paul was identified by his propensity to Pride (2 Corinthians 12:7) because of the abundance of his revelations. Similarly, he also explains that unforgiveness can give the enemy an advantage (2 Corinthians 2:10-11). The enemy can be drawn by their faith in a lie, a false confession, unhealthy emotions or even sinful behavior that does not line up with who Christ is. The devil is not omnipresent, and generally he doesn’t see most of it. Further, those things do not open any doors, nor give the devil any rights or permissions, but they do make the person an easier target.
The Cross of Jesus Christ, and our Union in Him is our protection. As we agree more and more with what Jesus says about is true, we will walk out more and more of those truths in our life, and we can become harder and harder to find. That doesn’t mean the devil doesn’t try once in a while out of frustration, but let that be the reason rather than believing the lies and tormenting yourself by your own faith.
Jeff Turner talking about Spiritual Warfare