Posted: 05 Mar 2014 06:54 AM PST
Read: Luke 4:1-13
When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. (v. 13 NRSV)
Ever notice how sin has a way of sounding so reasonable, so plausible? The devil cloaks himself in the guise that is most appealing to our most vulnerable points. To the student he comes as an easy grade. To the business person he comes as easy money. To the spouse unfulfilled in marriage he comes as an easy affair. To the Christian he comes as the self-satisfied voice of the Pharisee, saying, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people” (Luke 18:11). And to Jesus, he comes as the enticing possibility that he, Jesus, does not have to suffer and die.
Jesus withstands the wilderness temptations. But the battle is not over. The devil doesn’t quit; he merely “departed from him until an opportune time.” Jesus came out of the wilderness, but the wilderness never came out of him. Again and again, Jesus would hear the voice of temptation whispering seductively, urging him to sidestep the cross.
We win a battle against temptation, and we think it’s over. It’s not. The devil awaits an “opportune time” to pay another visit when he can appeal to our injured pride, our fragile self-esteem, our anger at being passed over. Stay vigilant. Jesus triumphed over temptation. So can we. Lord, give us strength! –Lou Lotz
Prayer: Lord, give me strength today.
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