Unlike the trite Hollywood storyline, Satan will not show up on our doorstep with a “legal contract” asking us to trade our souls for granted wishes. He is much subtler than that.
Satan’s bag is full of tricks. Over the course of our lifetime, he may use the full arsenal against us. But most of the time, he readily identifies our flaws and simply targets those weaknesses.
In the Scriptures, we see that even our Biblical heroes were not immune to tripping over their own feet at times. In the Old Testament, we learn that after having victory over Jericho, Joshua made a grave error, which cost him the battle at Ai (see Joshua 6-7). In his post-victory confidence, Joshua proceeded in battle unaware of the sin within his own camp, and the Israelites were defeated. When we allow our spiritual victories and personal successes to turn into overconfidence or arrogance, sinfulness will defeat us.
King David fell into temptation with Bathsheba because he ceased to be vigilant (see 2 Samuel 11). David wasn’t on guard against the devil, so what began as a tempting situation quickly escalated into a series of sinful choices. When we let our daily busyness crowd out our prayer time and study of God’s Word, we quickly find ourselves ill prepared to handle temptation.
Even one of Jesus’ own disciples fell victim to personal weakness. Simon Peter was sure of his faith and character and told Jesus during the Last Supper, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33). Yet Peter underestimated his own fears and flaws, and sure enough, he fulfilled Jesus’ words: “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me” (v. 34).
Prayer: Father, I realize that if Joshua, David, and Simon Peter were capable of falling victim to personal weakness, I most certainly am as well. Help me to be vigilant to protect my time with You so that I will be prepared to handle what the enemy throws my way. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6).
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