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Throw Away or Take Away?: Day 5

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left Him until an opportune time.
Luke 4:13

Today we return to our day 1 example (complete quote above) from the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Satan, the master tempter—who accomplished the fall of mankind with a sly insinuation—versus the Son of Man. We cannot imagine the importance of this battle from a supernatural perspective. The devil threw his best at Jesus with temptations targeted at His weakened physical state, His claim of divine Sonship and His right to rule His creation, but the power of evil was no match for the power of God. Satan’s response, even in resounding defeat, was to withdraw “until an opportune time.”

Probably nothing so characterizes Satan as his nearly flawless timing. A little while back a pastor shared an acronym that I wish I had heard about 50 years ago. It was HALT. He said never make an important decision when you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired. All of these are “opportune times” for a roaring lion who is on the prowl.

Bible teachers are fond of saying, regarding 1 Peter 5:8, that since the cross, Satan is a defeated foe. He may be a lion, but he is a toothless lion. I don’t know about you, but I would not want to met even a toothless lion in an alley on a dark night.

Our times are increasingly evil and Satan is increasingly emboldened by his opportunities. We are no match for him; our churches, our marriages and our children and grand-children are no match for him. That does not mean we should live in fear, but to live, to the best of our ability, in the center of God’s will and with a healthy respect for the danger that lurks around the margins.

One day this earth will disappear forever and we will hear these words thundering from the throne of heaven, “I am making everything new.” Until then our foe is both hungry and relentless. But our Friend is mighty to save.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rules, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world… (Ephesians 6:10).

Nancy Shirah

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