"And when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Jesus until an opportune time."
When we are serving and sharing Christ, the Enemy will be carefully planning his next and most effective attack on our lives. He does not sit idly, hoping that we will fall into temptation by chance. He calculates the conditions of the battle. He carefully works out the timing of his ambush. To help us prepare our hearts, the Bible outlines for us five of Satan's opportune times for attack.
Opportune Time #1 — Immediately after a great victory.
This is a time we feel least dependent on God. When we feel least in need of Him, we risk losing sight of how His blessing gave us the victory.
Opportune Time #2 — Immediately before a great victory.
Right before we experience some of the greatest blessings of our lives, Satan works overtime to derail our trains of blessing immediately before they get to the station.
Opportune Time #3 — When we are emotionally, mentally, and physically drained.
Lack of sleep, long hours at work, and mental stress can make us too tired to stand against temptation.
Opportune Time #4 — When we are waiting for the Lord.
Waiting is hard for everyone. Waiting on the Lord's mysterious but perfect timing can be the hardest, since His ways are higher than ours. Satan knows this and will tempt us to take the shortcut, causing us to lose out on God's answers to our prayers.
Opportune Time #5 — When we are in the house of God.
When we are in the house of God, our hearts are open to the Word of God and to His teaching. But when our hearts are open to God, they are also vulnerable to other influences, even attack.
We must guard our hearts, with vigilance, against temptation during Satan's opportune times. Satan's strategy is not new — from the beginning of time until now, he has tempted man at the same times, in the same ways. However, God has promised that He will provide a way out so we can stand up to temptation (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). Be aware of Satan's opportune times and look for the way out.
Excerpted from My Journal, a monthly devotional magazine from Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef.
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