Green Pastures, quiet waters
GREEN PASTURES, QUIET WATERS.
When You Are Weakest
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’ ” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’ ” Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ ” Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.” Matthew 4:1-11
I have often read that story, but one thing I noticed when reading the passage this time was the cunning way in which Satan used his wiles to try to get Jesus to give in to temptation. He waited until Jesus was at His weakest, then he pounced. Just think how Jesus must have been feeling. He was in the process of a forty day fast. If you have ever fasted for any length of time you know how difficult a couple of days can be. But 40 days is unimaginable.
Some have suggested that being without food so long was causing Jesus to hallucinate. But vs 1tells us it was the Holy Spirit that led Him to the desert for the very purpose of being tempted. His interaction with the devil was no hallucination. Satan will often attack when we are too physically or emotionally weak and worn down to fight back. It is especially at these times we need to claim the strength of the Almighty One to fight on our behalf.
The devil also attacked when Jesus was alone. It is much easier to stand our ground when we are being supported by other believers, either by their presence or their prayers. Because of the current health threats we cannot always be around those close to us, so it is important that we are extra aware of the tactics of the evil one. We need to keep communication open with others so that we can be encouraged and prayed for in our weak moments.
And of course we know also that Satan used the distorted word of God in trying to get Jesus to succumb to temptation. Beware of those who preach and teach falsehood, who distort God’s word. Do you know the scriptures well enough to discern God’s truth from Satan’s lies? If we are weak in the knowledge of His word, we may not hold strong against the lies of the enemy.
How aware are you of Satan’s ploys in your own life? 1Peter 5:8 reminds us to “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
He roams around waiting until you are at a weak point and cannot fight back. Perhaps you have been through some rough times emotionally, maybe some severe physical issues are weakening you. It could be that you have even lost that intimacy with the Lord and you are at a point of spiritual weakness. Your resistance is low. Whatever has brought you to physical, emotion or spiritual weakness, Satan knows and that is most likely when he will attack. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, don’t despair. Yes, Satan is likely to attack, but that does not mean you will lose the battle, no matter how feeble you feel. Remember the words of the apostle Paul, who said, “"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Corinthians 12:9,10 He was, of course, speaking of the fact that the Lord was his strength. Ours, too. When we are too weak to fight Satan’s attacks, He fights on our behalf. He gives us the strength we need to overcome.
“ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10