“After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist,” Stan began, “Luke’s gospel account says that Jesus was led about in the wilderness by the Holy Spirit.”
“Is that where Jesus was tempted by Satan?” I asked.
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “And the whole account of that temptation is a valuable lesson for me, especially the last part.”
“What was the last part?” I replied.
“Luke says that when Satan was finished with his every temptation, he departed from Jesus, but that he would be back at an ‘opportune time’.”
“For me,” Stan continued, “that is an essential thing for me to know. That even though it seems that Satan has decided to leave me alone when I am able to resist his temptation, he is just waiting.”
“No,” Stan added, “Satan has not decided to leave me alone for the rest of the time I have on this side of eternity just because I have successfully resisted him. He is waiting for an ‘opportune time’ to raise his ugly head and tempt me again.”
“If I am not aware that Satan is waiting,” Stan concluded, “and if I do not call upon the Holy Spirit for all of the help He has for me, I am apt to fall into Satan’s trap when he pounces at what he thinks is an ‘opportune time’.”
“What might such a time look like?” I asked.
“Whenever and by whatever means Satan chooses,” Stan replied.
“Satan’s opportune times do not put me in danger of losing my salvation,” Stan added, “for that has been settled by my acceptance of Christ’s finished work based on His life, death, and resurrection, but I am certainly in danger of not being all that God intends for me before I step into eternity, before I get on the train!”
“If Satan is just waiting for an opportune time,” Stan concluded, “it is my role to allow the Holy Spirit to lead me with His and my own opportune time to counter Satan’s.”
And when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. Luke 4:13.
If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it. Genesis 4:7.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you provide all I need to resist the temptations of Satan, including the knowledge that he is just waiting for an opportune time to tempt me again. Please help me in always being aware that Satan has not gone away, but is just waiting at the door of my life, waiting to tempt me when the time is right. I confess that too many times I have fallen into Satan’s trap. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me in following all of your leading in keeping me alert to and away from what Satan considers an ‘opportune time’ to tempt me again. Please help me in surrendering all of me to the Holy Spirit’s own opportune time to lead me in resisting Satan’s temptations. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.