What Makes a Man Unclean?


In our daily meditations, we are looking at Satan’s schemes or strategies of attack against humanity. He wants to make you a servant and fill your life with darkness. His plan of attack is to prompt you to submit to ever-increasing sinfulness. Here’s the principle that Satan operates with:


Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16).


Let’s talk about how a man can defend himself from being a slave of the enemy. Jesus spoke about what spiritually corrupts a man, saying:

14Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’” 17After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18“Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? 19For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”) 20He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean. 21For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’” (Mark 7:14-23).


One of Satan's primary ways of attack is to sow thoughts into a person's mind, thus affecting his emotions and, ultimately, his will. Your mind can be thought of as a seedbed that receives seed thoughts from three different sources: God, Satan, and your spirit, i.e., the real you that occupies the tent of your body (2 Corinthians 5:4). Satan would love for us to believe that our thoughts are our own and that we should act on every idea that comes to us. Those who have suicidal tendencies may be suffering from demonic oppression from listening to the enemy instead of rejecting such thoughts. We know that Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus said that He came that we “may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Evil spirits will try to convince a person that there is no hope and cajole him into self-destruction. Of course, demons are not content with just destroying individuals. In many cases, they want to express their personalities or use people as a tool or as "food." The enemy seeks to acquire a beachhead or a foothold in your life.

In writing on this theme, the Apostle Paul said, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27). Paul is implying that, if you become angry toward someone and allow yourself to carry a grudge or harbor unforgiveness toward someone, you can give territory and ground to the devil. Giving in to temptation becomes a demonic foothold, and if not checked by confession, repentance, and forgiveness, it can become a stronghold in your life that seems to have a power all its own. The English word "foothold" is translated from the original Greek word topos, which means "place," the thought behind the word is that we can give an opportunity for Satan to gain further territory than his beachhead or foothold. Our irritability and anger can go over the top to be resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness. For goodness sake, get those last three words out of your life and repent and turn to the Lord that He may uproot it out of your character. Keith Thomas

This meditation is a shortened version of the in-depth study: Satan's Schemes.