“God is faithful; 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)
One of Satan’s techniques in tempting us is his ability to wait for the perfect timing. In Luke 4:13, Satan did not give up just because Jesus was victorious before, and he won’t leave us alone when we have the victory either.
What are these opportune times for Satan’s attack? After a great victory or a blessing from the hand of God. When Satan left Jesus in the wilderness, he started plotting a new way to tempt Jesus. When twisting Scripture didn’t work, he next tried using the chief apostle Peter (see Matthew 16).
Just after Peter confessed that Jesus was “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), Satan used undiscerning Peter to tempt Jesus by rebuking Him for talking about His death. And Jesus’ words were strong: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (Matthew 16:23).
Peter had just been blessed with a revelation from the Father that Jesus was the Messiah, but in the next moment, he was rebuking the Messiah. Why? Times immediately after a great blessing are often the times we feel least dependent on God. Peter felt confident that he had figured things out — and Satan tried to use him to tempt Jesus out of the road to the cross.
Satan also waits for the moment immediately before success to rob God’s children of receiving God’s blessings. The wilderness temptations came right before a triumphant moment: “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, . . . everyone praised him” (Luke 4:14-15). Some of the miracles that marked His ministry — healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons — were waiting for Jesus just on the other side of the wilderness.
Satan wanted to derail Jesus from His greatest blessings of ministering and proving His messiahship. He will try to do the same with you and me, tempting us to forfeit the blessings that come when we follow God’s Word. We must arm ourselves with the “helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
Prayer: Lord, when success comes my way, help me to not be flushed with victory so that I let my guard down, but be of sober mind and humble, praising and glorifying Your name for that blessing. Help me to always cling to the cross of Christ with thanksgiving. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Evangelist Bisola Johnson