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Feb 12

Good morning, Lord!
Thank you for teaching me to not overthink everything, just to DO it, whatever “it” may be! I think I am getting ever so little bit better at this. Thank you for keeping my head up, and my husband’s hope up! Please touch my daughter, and reveal yourself to her. Let her know that she is NOT alone — because she has us and YOU! Lord, I do not understand the depression she deals with. I don’t know how to help her. We wonder if she will be able to make it in the “real world” and she certainly does not seem like she could live on her own. Father, I know that you see what she needs, and you know what future you have for her. Please prepare her and show my husband and myself what WE need to do, to help. Please open and close the right doors, so we can find the right path to walk.

 
Ephesians 4:22-27 ERV

You were taught to leave your old self. This means that you must stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self gets worse and worse, because people are fooled by the evil they want to do.
You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking.
Be that new person who was made to be like God, truly good and pleasing to him.
So you must stop telling lies. “You must always speak the truth to each other,” because we all belong to each other in the same body.
“When you are angry, don’t let that anger make you sin,” and don’t stay angry all day.
Don’t give the devil a way to defeat you.

 
Wow, I would not have recognized this very familiar part of Ephesians, because the King James Version (which I am most accustomed to) is so very different! I will spare you the details, except for the last verse, as a comparison:
KJV: “Neither give place to the devil.”
ERV: “Don’t give the devil a way to defeat you.”
And the Greek basically says, “Don’t give a home or a space to Satan“.

Robertson’s Word Pictures explains that the Greek here is a “present active imperative in prohibition” — meaning either stop doing it or don’t have the habit.
Barnes’ Notes suggests that this verse ties into the one before it, pointing out that we are most easily fooled by our own emotions when we feel wronged, like we have an obligation to explain, defend, and justify ourselves — to retaliate in some way. Like this is our “right”.

Yet the same Greek phrase (didomi topos) is used in Romans 12:19 where we are instructed to “give place” to (God’s) wrath:

 
Romans 12:19

ERV: My friends, don’t try to punish anyone who does wrong to you. Wait for God to punish them with his anger. It is written: “I am the one who punishes; I will pay people back,” says the Lord.

ISV: Do not take revenge, dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance belongs to me. I will pay them back, declares the Lord.”

KJV: Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 
I included the International Standard Version here because it seems to be the closest of the three in accurately conveying the message of the Greek text. And these verses can help us understand the Ephesians text above, because they use that same Greek phrase (didomi topos). Here’s my humble interpretation, based on what I gather from the Greek and from the TWO sets of verses and their contexts where this phrase is used:

 

Do NOT engage in angry words and self-defense.   Do not even THINK revenge!   Instead,   ~ _m_a_k_e_   _r_o_o_m_ ~   for GOD’S anger and GOD’S revenge! 🙂

 
Lord, I thank you for always teaching me, correcting me, training me to be more pleasing to you. Please give me a chance to practice these new truths about self-defense, anger, and revenge by reminding me of them when I am in this type of situation. You have said that your Word resides in our hearts and in our minds. I ask you to let these verses, this truth, rise up in my mind’s eye — in my remembrance — whenever I am just beginning to be angry and feeling like I need to defend myself. You know how quickly the locomotive of rage advances on my emotional track, Lord, when I feel I am being falsely accused. Please use these verses to help me learn a new way — YOUR way — so that some day I can remain calm and connected to you even if I am being horribly falsely accused! This way, Satan will have no “home” in me in this thing! 😀

 

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