Thursday, January 4, 2007

An Opportune Time

"Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time." Luke 4:13

During Jesus' time in the wilderness described in Luke 4, He was tempted with "every temptation" that the devil was able to concoct. Satan did not have one mere trick to play, but rather he was armed with a variety of schemes. His ploys dealt heavily with the flesh and pride, but Jesus combated his attacks with an armament consisting of items beyond any human defense; Jesus sought the spiritual to overcome the temptations. And despite Jesus' amazing resistance, Satan did not give up upon his departure, but rather, Satan is said to have waited for "an opportune time."

With this in mind, it is important for the Christian to be not only equipped with the necessary spirtual armor to wage the battles victoriously, but it is equally important for the Christian to realize the cunning nature of Satan. Satan is well- practiced in his art of deception. He has many tricks in his bag, he is strong-willed and determined to corrupt and conquer, and he is surprisingly patient, waiting for the perfect moment to attack. Therefore, the Christian must always be ready to fight and defend himself against the wiles of the devil.

The only successful defense for the Christian is the Word of God and prayer. If the war waged against us is not of flesh and blood, we cannot expect to use physical weapons. Human knowledge, wealth, and works is useless in this type of battle. On the contrary, it is the pure and flawless essence of God's words that defeat, as Jesus demonstrates this idea when He overcomes the temptations set before Him using scripture. Also, prayer is critical for the believer, as one becomes more conscious of God's will through communion and fellowship.

Despite our successes in spiritual warfare, perhaps one of our weakest moments exist after the battle has subsided. After a hard trial or difficult situation, we sometimes allow the mundane to set in again. Victory allows the every day routine to once again continue in our lives. Yet, in these times of normalcy, we may neglect to realize Satan's plan to attack at the "opportune time." We should never let our guard down; we should never rest from prayer or keeping God's Word in our hearts!

Dear God,

Please help me to always be equipped with the spiritual weapons needed to fight the good fight. May I be so close to You, in Word and prayer, that during these battles, I will have the strength and courage I need. The temptations will come. The warfare will continue until the end. However, please help me to be always on guard.

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