I first learned of the word "foothold" in a sermon in Ephesians 4:27:

"Don't give the devil a foothold."

The dear pastor described it this way: "If you give the devil your foot, he'll take the whole leg. If you give the devil your leg, he'll take your whole body." Or something like that.

From then on, my imagery was like that of a crab pulling down another, somewhat like 'crab mentality.'


A foothold is nothing like that; it has nothing to do with a hand holding down a foot. Foothold means 
1. A place providing support for the foot in climbing or standing.
2. A firm or secure position that provides a base for further advancement.

This spark of revelation is important to me, because it gave me a true perspective.

With the 'holding a foot' thing, I thought the devil is so aggressive as much as he keeps on pulling me down even without me doing anything.

Although that is true to a point, it absolved me of any responsibility. But the real concept shows that it always begins with me: I decide to permit the enemy to work me down.

A further bible study shows that other translations put it this way:
Chance - Don't give the devil a chance.
Opportunity - Don't give the devil an opportunity...to work in your life.
Place - Don't give place to the devil.
Room - Don't leave room for the devil.
A way - Don't give the devil a way to defeat you

This tells me that I can't be passive. And whenever I do, I give the devil a default to start working in my life.
The devil is a defeated foe, but when I do things contrary to God's grace, the devil gets the upper hand.
So now I have a proper imagery: a pedestal.

I give the devil a place to stand on in my life whenever I grieve the Holy Spirit. I also imagine it to hiring an employee to work against you, much like giving an influential position to your competitor in your own office - they will work and conspire against you.

So once again, don't give the devil a foothold.