“When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” Luke 4:13
Did you notice that when the Enemy “finished all this tempting”, he didn’t give up? No, he just strategically “left [Jesus] until an opportune time”. Satan is a persistent monster. He is clever, strategic, and patient. He has the perspective of a millennia-long career of waging war against God and manipulating people. It is imperative that you do not underestimate his role in this world or how formidable he is in playing it.
Our ancient brother Peter compared our chief enemy to a roaring lion on the prowl looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). His admonition: “Be alert and of sober mind”. Our Master Jesus said that “he was a murderer from the beginning”, “a liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44). He is so good at what he does that he “leads the whole world astray” (Revelation 12:9). This is not an opponent to take lightly.
Yet, you can see that when this mighty foe faced our Master, he was the one that lost, and he had to leave in order to regroup. He failed with Jesus where he had succeeded with so many before. His wiles were useless against the wisdom and devotion to God that were embodied in our Master.
Now you might think to yourself that Jesus’ success is very little comfort to you because, after all, He was Jesus. How are we to have any hope against an enemy that is this wise, strong, and capable in his destructive work? Ah, this is the good news that I really want to remind you about today.
I encourage you to meditate on and commit to memory these beautiful truths about the security available to you as a disciple of Jesus in this ongoing war against God’s ancient enemy:
“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” Acts 10:38
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes… In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:10-11,16
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.” 1 John 5:18
Stand strong, Disciple. Be wary of the enemy and aware of his devices, but do not fear him. Do not ignore him, but neither give him too much credit. You belong to the One who came “to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8) – the only One who could. He will uphold you, protect you, empower you, equip you, and stand with you each and every step of your way. Live boldly and confidently in the shadow of your King’s wing today!
Standing with the Master and against the enemy with you,