Daily Bible Reading Reflections

“Until an Opportune Time”

Today’s Bible reading is Genesis 31 and Luke 4.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. (Luke 4:1-2)

Jesus withstands these temptations, repeatedly returning to “It is written.”

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:13)

The devil departed, but the devil would return at an opportune time.

Christians would later be encouraged by the apostle Peter,

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Pet 5:8)

The devil continues to prowl, looking for an opportune time.

The apostle Paul makes sure we are on the alert to our vulnerability and personal responsibility:

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. (Eph 4:26-27)

What an important warning that I need to keep at the forefront of my mind:

  • Every time I pick up my smartphone…
  • Every time I move my wrist to click an Internet link…
  • Every time I think about what search terms to Google…
  • Every time I don’t get my way…
  • Every time I’m frustrated…
  • Every time I’m packing my bags to head out of town…
  • Every time I feel a nudge in the direction of bitterness…
  • Every time I’m tempted to cheat…
  • Every time it would be advantageous to lie…
  • Every time the darkness is offering a place to hide…

…my Father in heaven has warned me: give no opportunity to the one who is seeking to devour your soul.

The devil tempted Jesus. When he failed in Luke 4 he departed, until an opportune time. He continues to prowl, seeking someone to devour. We can’t keep him from prowling, but we can refuse to give him an opportunity.

Today, be strong in the Lord who withstood this adversary. Stand firm in the strength of his might.

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