“Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13)
There are stories in God’s Word that can be ‘right in your face’ kind of stories. There are phrases found throughout God’s Book that can be so reassuring and comforting, while there are others that can absolutely make the hair on your neck stand up!
Luke’s account of the temptations of Christ following His baptism by His cousin, John the Baptist, needed to happen! Which is why we read in Luke 4:1-2, “… and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil …”
The Bible affirms that Christ was “… in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) Jesus faced the difficult, the unpleasant, the worst that mankind could send His way … yet in all of this He was sinless! Oh, what a Savior we have in Christ Jesus, and it is our privilege and duty to follow His example and follow in His steps, 1 Peter 2:21-23.
It’s that “following His example” part that is so challenging, isn’t it? It should be clear to anyone who reads about the temptations of Jesus Christ … that Satan is no respecter of persons! If Satan was bold enough to take on trying to trip up the Son of God … he will not hesitate to do the same in each of our lives.
We must make no mistake about his intentions to lie, lure, and lead the Son of God away from the will of His Heavenly Father! The obvious warning for each of us is that this is exactly what he wants to do with each of us! He wants to own us … capture our hearts and souls with promises that will fall miserably short of expectation.
Satan is not omnipresent as our God is, but he is always walking around in this world, watching, listening, making his observations and notes for future reference … and then he waits! He waits for the coming of that “opportune time” to try repeatedly. And when Luke tells us that “he left the Lord’s presence (not forever … but) for a season” it should cause each of us to be more diligent to “be sober and vigilant.”
Jesus dealt with Satan and his minions in various ways throughout the entirety of His earthly ministry … whether it be in facing demons and casting them out of those who were possessed … or the attitudes and dispositions of the religious leaders … to betrayal within His disciples.
Consider this … where would you think the opportune time for Satan to pay you a visit would be? The solicitation to do evil … to satisfy self over God … is persistent and unrelenting.
What will you do when our adversary believes it is the right time to place before you the temptation to satisfy your own desires over the Lord’s? Have you thought ahead, studied God’s Book, and learned the way to respond found in the words, “It is written.” We must not even allow Satan’s ways to in any way make their case to our hearts and minds.
When temptation of any sort, especially where you know you have a weakness in that area, knocks on your door, you must call on Christ to meet it. Trying to handle the temptations of life on our own will not lead to success. We are warned in so many passages as in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from the very appearance of evil.” We must not seek to excuse, justify or in any diminish sin in any form.
Remember, temptation to go somewhere you shouldn’t be going … to watch something you really shouldn’t be watching … to say things you shouldn’t be saying … to participate in whatever from God’s perspective is opposed to His holiness … these are part and parcel of Satan’s desire to wage war against our soul and it’s his purpose to win.
For one to say “I can look over this or that and it won’t bother me” is a devil’s lie and if believed and followed can and will cost a person their soul if not repented of.
The temptation to climb the fence God has placed to determine what is good and evil, what is right or wrong, or what is truth or error is no respecter of persons. Whether by savage assault or subtle suggestion, the minds of a wide range of people are vulnerable to its attack!
So persuasive is our enemy … he can whisper the suggestions into our ears when we might be discouraged about our spiritual lives or those of others making bad choices … suggestions that sound innocent enough but be sure that the devil’s intent is to in anyway bring down the work of the church, the individuals who make up the “body of Christ” … and if he can gain a whole family … well, that’s just bonus captures for this “lion who goes about looking for whom he may devour!”
Don’t Be His Next Victim!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.