And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. Luke 4:13
After having made three tries and failed, the devil departed from Jesus. A defeat didn’t end his attempts. The retreat only meant he went to the shadows to regroup. Luke says that he departed from Jesus until another opportune time. When would be an opportune time?
- When his mother and brothers thought he was under demonic influence.
- When he was called the illegitimate son of Mary.
- When Judas betrayed Him in the garden.
King David reinforced the truth of this experience with different wording. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support. Psalm 18:18
Nothing has changed. Today, the devil still looks for fainthearted saints. He waits to see ‘blood in the water’; knowing that a weakened enemy is more easily taken down. Don’t expect your worst battle on a good day. It’s on an awful day, when you don’t feel like fighting, that you need to put on your armor.
Jesus had an advantage we don’t have. He knew Lucifer in heaven. He knew his passion for power and revenge. He knew that three defeats in some wilderness wasn’t going to send him away for good. He was out to take God’s people down to the very end of the age, if possible. God has allowed him to have limited power until that final victory but it’s always under the umbrella of God’s promises of redemption and glory.
What’s the bottom line? We have to know how to fight when we’re weak. 1.) Clothe yourself in the Word. 2.) Pray, pray, pray! 3. ) Live holy. 4.) Rest in God’s love and favor. Remove one of these and there’s a chink in our armor. Without the word, we’ve abdicated our sword. Without prayer, our communication lines to power and authority are crippled. Without holiness, we’ve opened doors to the kingdom of darkness. Without resting in love and favor, we’ll experience a loss of resolve to do the first three. I mean, why bother!
No matter how tough it got for Jesus, no matter how hot the temptation, no matter how bloody the path, our Savior never forsook the Word, prayer, holiness, and an assurance that He was indeed God’s beloved Son ~ destined for glory.
If ever it were time for me to walk in Your footsteps, Jesus, it’s in this. Amen