When You’re Not Expecting It (1)

‘Then the devil comes.’ Luke 8:12 ESV

Anne Graham Lotz writes: ‘In the course of a week, the hot-water heater broke, water pipes burst… the bathroom showerhead fell off… [and] I was confronted with friction between family members and problems with my ministry staff. I was tempted to lose my temper, to worry instead of trust, and to neglect my prayer life. What looked like ordinary frustration… was something more sinister… Satan attacks our weakened defences in the mundane areas of our lives.’

The Bible says that immediately following the spiritual blessing He received at His baptism, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert ‘to be tempted by the devil’ (see Matthew 4:1–11).

There are important lessons here: (1) Don’t rest in success. After the benediction comes the battle. What incredible blessing has God recently given you? Whether it involves your ministry, family, career or your personal walk with God, watch out! Satan targets us when we’re off-guard. (2) Stay in God’s will. Have you ever thought, ‘If it’s this hard it can’t be God’s will,’ and decided to quit? Just because you’re doing the right thing doesn’t mean you’re immune. Jesus was in God’s will when the enemy attacked Him. When things look bleak, don’t ‘lean…on your own understanding’; that’s the time to ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart.’ (Proverbs 3:5 NKJV) (3) Know the Scripture. Every time Jesus was attacked He countered with, ‘It is written.’ God’s Word is called ‘the sword of the Spirit’ (Ephesians 6:17 NIV) because it’s our primary offensive weapon against evil (see Ephesians 6:16). Jesus used it to defeat Satan, and so must you.