When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended as a dove upon Him. Then God the Father spoke audibly, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). What a divine endorsement and spectacular display of the supernatural! Notice what happened next: The snake showed up. Jesus was led into the wilderness to endure 40 days of intense temptation by the devil.
When God moves, you can count on it, the devil moves too. He tries to undermine what God is doing and steal our spiritual momentum. Remember, it is not a sin to be tempted. It just means you’re human (welcome to the club). Shakespeare said, “Tis one thing to be tempted, another thing to fall.” Martin Luther observed, “You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”
We all have an Achilles heel, some area of weakness the enemy tries to exploit. A bumper sticker reads, “Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.” It is different strokes for different folks. Some people are tempted by alcohol, drugs or gambling. Others are lured by lust, pride, greed or jealousy. Still others are prone to lying, stealing or outbursts of anger. Satan knows how, when and where to push our buttons.
Notice the timing of Jesus’ temptation. Satan attacked Him during 40 days of fasting when He was hungry, weak and alone. The tempter hits us the hardest at six specific times when we are the most vulnerable: