Jesus told His disciples, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30). He was saying, in essence, “When Satan comes at Me, he can’t find any place where he can get a foothold. I am totally under the authority of My Father.”
Likewise, Satan cannot enter the body or spirit of any believer whose life is totally submitted to God’s Word. He has to be given a place in order to gain a foothold. And that happens only when a person holds back “part of the price.” Let me explain.
In Acts 5 a couple named Ananias and Sapphira sold a portion of their land and gave the proceeds to the new church in Jerusalem. Yet, when they laid the amount at Peter's feet, the apostle was perplexed. He asked, “Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?” (Acts 5:3). As soon as Peter spoke these words, Ananias fell down dead on the spot and just a little later, so did his wife.
What is the lesson God wanted to teach the Church through this? I don’t believe it had anything to do with the physical piece of land Ananias and Sapphira owned. Rather, it had to do with the inner territory of their hearts.
This couple believed they could be 95 percent obedient to God but remain safely disobedient in one small area. They had heard God’s pure Word preached but they rebelled against what they knew to be true. They convinced themselves, “We can serve the Lord yet hold on to this one thing.” That was a lie to the Holy Ghost.
So, the part of the price they held back had nothing to do with money, but a small bit of ground of covetousness in their hearts. It was a patch just big enough to give Satan a stronghold, and with their one stubborn disobedience, they allowed the enemy to fill their hearts.
This is why Paul warns, “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). The example of Ananias and Sapphira is clear: The price of an overcoming life is no small matter. It means subjecting our lives wholly to God’s Word, with no more dark places, hidden lusts or rebellion. Do not give Satan one inch of ground. That’s all he needs to gain entrance and establish a power base.