And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. Luke 4:13
The text above describes what happened at the end of Jesus' formal temptation.
Satan had tried his hardest. He had tried to dissuade Jesus from the work of redemption. He had tried, failed, and then he left.
But the devil didn't leave for good. He bided his time. He waited. He waited until situation and circumstance presented him with a more opportune time to work on the Savior. As far as I know, Scripture is not specific about when that opportune time occurred.
Did the opportune time come when the crowds deserted Him; was it when He knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane; was it when He was challenged before Pilate; was it when the mockers called for Him to come off His cross? It could have been any, none, or all of those times.
I do know the devil still looks for opportune times. As evidence of that fact, I'd like to share a story that was recently carried by the Reuters News Service. The article told how a thief stole thousands of Euros from some business-class travelers who were on an overnight flight from Tokyo to Paris.
The thief waited until the people were asleep. He waited until they were sure they were safe. He waited for his opportune moment and then he rifled through their belongings.
That's the way Satan works. He waits for a time when we let down our guard.
He unsuccessfully waited to find such an opportune time in Jesus' life of dedication and commitment. In that particular wait, Satan failed. Without a stumble, our perfect Savior accomplished His work of sacrifice and He paid the price that gives us forgiveness and salvation.
But Satan doesn't have many such failures as he works on the rest of humanity.
He continues to wait for each of us. He waits for the opportune moment when he can bring down our faith and destroy our trust in the Savior.
This is why we need to be prepared. We need to remain near our sacrificing Savior; we need to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit. Unless we wish otherwise -- and who ever would -- the Triune God will help us, encourage us, guide us, and protect us.
God's ongoing protection is what we need if we are to deny Satan his opportune moment of temptation. By God's grace, let us do our best to make sure that opportune time never comes.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You never gave Satan the temptation victory that he so much desired. Now, be with me so that I may not fall victim to the evil one who waits. In Your Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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