Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
After 40 days of fasting and praying alone Jesus is hungry. It is at that time the enemy comes to tempt him. The enemy comes when Jesus was most vulnerable, most tired, most susceptible. After he comes and tries to get Jesus to sin, he leaves with plans to return.
If the enemy looks for opportune times, when are my most opportune times? When am I most vulnerable? This season of life has been that for me. Whether it is dealing with a sick child, ministry stresses, family dynamic changes (kid in college), etc., this season has been an opportune time for the enemy to attack. So how am I to respond?
-Know the word. Jesus uses the word of God as a sword to do battle with the enemy. I can’t afford to use my words and ideas when battling the temptations of the enemy. I must rely on His eternal word. God’s word puts attacks in perspective.
-Expect the temptations and attacks in the most vulnerable of times. The enemy doesn’t care about your circumstances and situations. He will take advantage of the most vulnerable times in order to create the most likelihood of you losing focus and falling. He will use all means necessary. I can’t afford to assume the enemy has any compassion or care for my times of weakness. He simply sees them as the best chance to attack. When I am low, expect it. “When it rains, it pours” is not a coincidence.
-When it’s over, it’s not over. The enemy leaves Jesus once He stands strong. However, he retreats only to regroup and come back at another time. Throughout Jesus’ ministry the enemy returns over and over again through the Pharisees, the scribes, the government, and even a couple of his own disciples (Judas and Peter). Jesus beating the devil in the wilderness was a defining moment as Jesus began his ministry. However, it was not the end. The enemy never quit. The enemy will never quit until we breathe our last breath. There will be times of retreat and rest but it won’t last. As long as we are alive as believers the enemy will try to deem us ineffective. However, as we stand on the gospel and keep trusting in the truth and grace of Jesus we can continue to move forward in life, ministry and in our calling.
Father thank you for your word. It grounds me, keeps life in perspective and brings clarity to my situations. May I stand on your word. May I be ready for attacks and may I not assume that moments of relief will last very long. You have been with me this long, I have no reason to believe you won’t be there in the days and years ahead. Thank you for your faithfulness.