WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 29, 2022
TOPIC: SATAN IS LOOKING FOR AN OPPORTUNE TIME TO TEMPT YOU
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13 New King James Version).
Temptation is not a sin; it is an enticement to sin. From time to time, each person will face temptations. It could be a particular kind or another type. But surely, Satan tempts everybody and nobody is so spiritual or spiritually mature to be exempted from Satan’s temptation.
Just as the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan also tempted Jesus, the Son of God, in the wilderness. Matthew 4:1 says that the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Luke, in his account, says that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and the Spirit led Him into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil (Luke 4:1-2a).
Whereas the first Adam (and Eve) sinned, the last Adam didn’t. After his three temptations, Satan left Him. “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13 New King James Version).
Two things are clear from this passage. One, Satan ended his temptation of Jesus and left after he didn’t succeed. Two, Satan looked for an opportune time to tempt Him again. The phrase “when the devil had ended every temptation” does not mean Satan would not try to tempt Jesus again. It does not mean that after the temptation in Luke 4, Satan would never tempt Jesus again. This is clear from the concluding part of the verse. It says Satan left Him until an opportune time. An opportune time refers to the next opportunity, another time, or a convenient season to tempt Jesus. Thus, Satan only left Jesus for a while.
Although the Bible does not tell us specifically the opportune time that Satan tempted Jesus again, if Satan could persist in tempting Him three times, he could tempt Him again at other times during His earthly ministry. But in all, Jesus did not sin. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 New King James Version). That’s talking about Jesus. Hebrews 2:18 says about Him that because He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
One of Satan’s names is the tempter. Matthew 4:3a ays the tempter came to Jesus. Paul also refers to him as the tempter in 1Thessalonians 3:5. God does not tempt anyone. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:13-14 New King James Version).
Satan tempts us through our desires. That’s why Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:9 that those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
If you overcome one temptation today, it doesn’t mean that Satan will not tempt you again in the same area another time. Satan will depart, as he did with Jesus, and look for an opportune time. Satan is not in a hurry. He is very patient. He never believes that there is nobody that he cannot make fall into temptation. He believes that if he loses today, he can still win another day. Therefore, Satan keeps looking for an opportune time. And in many cases, he succeeds.
Many years after some people have overcome certain temptations, even when they were young Christians, they ended up falling into the temptations when they were mature spiritually and were more knowledgeable. Such people could not believe that they could fall into such sins after their past victories. Satan never gives up on anyone. He doesn’t believe that there is a Christian who cannot fall into temptation.
What does that tell you? Don’t be overconfident. Don’t have a false sense of security. Nobody can withstand the tempter on his own. You must constantly depend on the grace of God. Always hold on to the cross. Jesus disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:15). You need Jesus to overcome every temptation. Paul puts it thus: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12 New King James Version). Beware of spiritual pride. Satan is still after you.
In Matthew 26, Jesus told His disciples that all of them would be made to stumble because of Him on the night of his arrest. Peter answered that even if all were made to stumble because of Him, he would never. Then Jesus told him that he would deny Him three times that night before the rooster crowed (Matthew 26:31-34).
Peter was self-confident. He told Jesus that even if he had to die with Him, he would not deny Him. The other disciples said the same thing. But that night, they all deserted Him and Peter denied him three times. Thank God that Jesus knew ahead that Satan had asked for Peter that he might sift him as wheat and He had prayed for him that his faith wouldn’t fail (Luke 22:31-32).
Peter who was boasting couldn’t overcome the temptation when it came. Matthew 26:75 says, “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So he went out and wept bitterly” (New King James Version). But thank God after Jesus’ resurrection, He restored into the ministry Peter who had gone fishing (John 21:15-17).
You may have overcome a particular temptation before but don’t get carried away by your victory. Don’t lower your guard. Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies (Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21). Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
Satan will look for an opportune time to tempt you. He may not use the same person, place, or thing. Bragging does not move him. Spiritual pride does not scare him. If you think you’re standing, be careful lest you fall. You are not better than those who have fallen. You should learn from them. Satan won’t stop tempting you. That’s his job. He will look for an opportune time.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, to watch and pray, lest they should enter into temptation (Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38). But they kept sleeping until His betrayer came with those who arrested Him.
Satan won’t stop tempting you. Temptation is not a sin. As Jesus said, you must pray so that you don’t enter into temptation (Luke 22:40, 46). He also taught us in the Lord’s Prayer to pray that God would not permit us to be tempted or would keep us from being tempted (Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4). Satan is not afraid of your experience! Whenever, he tempts you, depend on the power of the Holy Spirit and silence Him with the Word of God as Jesus did. It is not by your power that you will overcome any temptation.
Jesus has already defeated Satan. Enforce the victory of Jesus. Resist the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9). God will help you to overcome. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 New King James Version).
Don’t succumb to temptation, no matter how many times Satan comes and his diverse temptations. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (New King James Version). Satan is looking for an opportune time to tempt you. You will overcome in Jesus’ name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and was raised on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for the temptations I have fallen into, especially because of spiritual pride. I receive grace to overcome every temptation henceforth in Jesus’ name. I shall not rely on my strength or experience; I shall depend on the finished work of Christ on the cross. Father, I pray for the restoration of those who have fallen into temptation. Restore them and heal them. Help them to overcome temptations.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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