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Vital signs- Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

Know Your Enemy

One of the most fascinating stories in the New Testament comes right after a spotlight moment for Jesus. In the early days of His ministry, Jesus traveled from Galilee to be baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, the Heavens opened, God’s spirit descended like a dove, and a voice proclaimed, “This is my one dear Son; in Him I take delight.” Can you imagine? Wouldn’t you have loved to have been there? Talk about an Instagram moment! Then the very next verse says, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Talk about a downer!  

The enemy works that way. If he goes after Jesus, he sure goes after you and me. At some of the highest spiritual points in my life, the enemy has attacked. It seems like when I am doing so well with God that I let my guard down a little and then bam! The enemy sneaks in and I don’t even know it. It may be an old sin that I thought I conquered long ago and there it is calling to me again. It could be something as simple as God giving me a chance to serve Him by helping someone out, but I let the moment pass. Maybe it’s letting an opportunity to pray with keli go, convincing myself that missing one evening praying together is no big deal. He will hit us at our biggest vulnerabilities and convince us that this one time it won’t matter, but it does. It always matters.

The enemy hit Jesus with three temptations. Jesus was at the end of forty days in the wilderness and was famished. The enemy told Him to turn stones into bread. Then the enemy takes Jesus to the highest point of the temple and tells Him to jump and have the angels catch Him. Finally, the enemy, who is the prince of this earth, offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus will simply bow down and worship him. What would you do? If you were famished and could turn stones into bread, would you? If you knew angels would catch you, would you jump from someplace high? If you could have all the kingdoms of this world, would you fall at the feet of the enemy? My answers are no, no, and no, but have I been deceived by the enemy before. Have I given in to temptations and justified my actions? Have I passed up opportunities to be there for others so I could do something just for me? Have I bowed before the things of this world and put God on the back burner? My answers are yes, yes, and yes. What about you?

The enemy is out to destroy you and me and every believer in Christ. Don’t fall for his deceitful ways and lies. Do what Jesus did. Say no. Turn to Jesus and embrace His power. Don’t forget that even though we are in the battle every day, Jesus has already won the war!

1 Has there been a pinnacle spiritual moment in your life that went south fast?

2 What areas of your life do you know you are most vulnerable?

3 Will you turn a “yes” into a “no” today?

Spend time asking God to reveal to you your areas of vulnerability and then ask His help in resisting them.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬ ‭NASB1995‬‬

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