Striking the Vulnerable

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’ ” Luke 4:3-4

Satan comes at us when we’re compromised emotionally, spiritually, or physically; not when we’re in good form. But not always. The first Adam was tempted in the exquisite Garden of Eden and failed. The last Adam, Jesus, was tempted in a stark wilderness and succeeded. The overriding point of it all, at least to me, is that Satan is strategic in his temptations. He strikes at points of vulnerability. For Adam and Eve, it was pride even though they had everything at their disposal. For Jesus, the temptation was food at a time of intense hunger. While we can be vulnerable in times of plenty, we are always vulnerable in seasons of suffering.

Jesus was in a physically weakened condition. He had been fasting for 40 days. Angels had been ministering to Him. It was at this point that Satan appeared to offer Him a way out of distress. This is Satan’s way. He does not want us to wait on God for His answers but to cave early to counterfeit offers of pain relief. This He did with Jesus. He encouraged Him to use His power to turn stones to bread. The idea, in and of itself, was not evil but the intent was. Later, Jesus would turn water into wine and multiply fish in a boy’s lunch but Satan’s intention was for Jesus to misuse His power outside of God’s perfect will.

Jesus’ answer was so short but it was powerful enough to silence His enemy. Just six words. But one piece of scripture, divinely chosen and delivered at just the right time, did what thousands of hours of arguing with the enemy could never accomplish.

People often wish that a seasoned Bible teacher would take on an unbeliever in an argument. We relish the thought of a debate being won and unbelievers being swayed to believe the gospel. It rarely happens this way. Arguments don’t open blind eyes. The Holy Spirit does. And what has the power to cut through deception and silence the voice of the enemy? Scripture.

I don’t know what your temptation is today. I do know that it has been cleverly customized by your enemy to hit you in your most vulnerable place. He intends to target you where you have the biggest chance of failing. How can you stand? Know that you are loved by God. Because you’re loved, pray and ask for help. Ask Him for a divinely chosen word of scripture that you can read out loud. Bind yourself to Jesus. Be full of the Spirit. A few short words that God crafted, not written by human hands, will be what makes the difference.

Mighty is your Word and mighty is Your Spirit in me. Amen

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