Sometimes, we read the Bible and find out something we have never noticed before. Despite having read about Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness many times, despite knowing this story all by heart, yesterday, my eyes stopped on a little sentence that has never dragged my attention enough to need me to meditate on it. My brother, my sister, the Bible is a forest that has gold spread all over. Unless you spend time looking for this gold, you will never see it, you will not find it or you will never understand what God is really saying behind every word written black on white in His Word.
The verse that attracted my attention is this one: “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time” (verse 13). The devil left Jesus UNTIL THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY CAME? Yes, my friend, I was really puzzled by this little sentence because it made me think: I am a sinner, so, yes, I can give Satan opportunities to tempt me through my weaknesses. Jesus never sinned, what favorable opportunities was the devil waiting for then to be able to tempt Him?
My friend, this should teach us that Christ’s defeat of the devil in the wilderness was decisive but not final. And throughout His ministry, the Lord had to confront Satan in various forms. Too often we see temptation as something that happens once and for all. In reality, we need to be constantly on guard against the devil’s ONGOING attacks. He is not tired trying to ruin your life. He is not tired trying to make you disobey God. So, be aware of the things that would cause you to compromise your faith, because the devil is not tired seeking doors to seduce us. You see, perhaps you managed not to fall on an area where he attacked you yesterday… today he might attack you on another area of your life… whatever makes you vulnerable to temptation, the devil will be there on your path at some point, because his purpose is to destroy you, or at least neutralize you through sin, shame or guilt.
So, when temptation rears its seductive head, do what Jesus did: rely on the Word of God and stand firm in your commitment to worship God alone, above all else. Most of the time, we fall because we want to negotiate or reason the devil. Eve entered into a conversation with the snake and she ended up doing what the snake wanted. My friend, no matter the cost of the sacrifice, as a believer, you must follow Jesus’ example and stand strong. The Bible says, ” he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). In other words, when you fall into temptation, it is because you wanted to do what you did, you decided to disobey God’s Word or you were not prepare to withstand it. May those who have ears hear this and stop finding excuses! Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.