When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Luke 4:13 NIV
Exactly what is an “opportune time”?
You can watch my 3-minute video here and/or read on:
Well, first of all, forget about the devil fighting fair. It isn’t going to happen. He doesn’t shake hands like a gentleman and wait until you’re ready. He looks for the weakest moment, the time when you’re defenses are down.
My strongest temptations come in the middle of the night when I’m trying to get back to sleep. I’m tired, and the last thing I feel like doing is fight a spiritual battle. But that’s when the battle comes—when I’m weak.
Did Jesus have weak moments?
Let’s look at this occasion. Jesus had fasted for forty days and nights. Now he was ravenously hungry — His body was tearing apart internal organs to find the nutrients to survive. Food was not a luxury for Him in this moment—it was a necessity.
Along comes the devil. “So, you’re hungry, huh?”
(Does the devil care whether Jesus is hungry? Of course not.)
“Try my solution. Turn these stones into bread.”
What’s the temptation? To get Jesus to act independently of the will of God. To separate Him from His Father. To get Him to doubt the loving-kindness of the Father. To get Him to doubt His own identity as the Son of God.
Jesus got hungry, tired, angry just as we do.
If Jesus, in His humanity, had weak moments like we do, then the devil ran into something he did not expect: God’s strength is made perfect in weakness; God doesn’t need our strength to win the battle.
PS. For those of you who are subscribed to Inner Wealth, you probably already know how identity lies can create a minefield of “opportune times.” How do we get free from those inner voices that haunt us with messages God never intended for us to receive? This coming Saturday I’m starting a new video series to address how to repair our understanding of who we are.