The other day God was speaking to me about the wilderness, so to get a better understanding of it, I started to look up people in the Bible who had a wilderness experience. The first one I started with was Jesus. Now there are a lot of things we can look at when it comes to the timing and circumstances of Him going into the wilderness but today I want to focus on something else.
I want to look at the attacks of the enemy today.
When you read about Jesus in the wilderness, it doesn’t give you a lot of details to work with. The Gospel of John doesn’t mention it at all, and the other three have slight variations. Only Mark mentions the wild beasts that surrounded Jesus while he was in the wilderness, but based on what we know, Jesus was alone in the wilderness, in a somewhat dangerous place, he was fasting for 40 days and nights so since Jesus was fully man we know he was hungry, he was weak, maybe even scared.
Any time I have ever fasted I am not just physically weak but also emotionally. There is a lot going on when we stop satisfying “king stomach”. So chances are that Jesus was not just weak from hunger but maybe also concerning his emotions.
Those conditions make us vulnerable.
I have heard many accounts of people who had a great time with the Lord during their fasts. They hear Him loud and clear as He speaks to them regarding certain issues and they receive the breakthroughs they have been praying for.
Me, not so much. Fasting for me usually means a dry time where it feels as if God has completely forgotten about me and I’m all alone. I know that is not the case but it sure feels that way. By now I have also learned that a time of fasting in my case usually brings attacks from the enemy. I guess he knows I am weak and vulnerable. Maybe even cranky and irritable so it seems to be an opportune time for him to strike, right?
That’s what he did with Jesus. He tempted Him while he was in a weakened physical state.
So how does the devil attack us? We know he is the father of lies but that doesn’t mean that’s the only tool he uses.
Usually the first thing that happens is that he makes us use our own words against us. Let me give you an example:
Years ago we had a very rough time in our marriage and so I constantly went before the Lord and prayed for His help. I quoted scripture, stood on it and was confident that God would work out our situation according to His word. So far so good. But then something would happen and I would either break down into a sobbing, crying mess or I would blow up and vent, but either way the words that were coming out of my mouth were detrimental to the prayers I had spoken. Things like “this will never change”, or “I give up” were my go-to things.
Why is that an issue?
In the natural I didn’t pray and then say those things at the same exact time but God doesn’t exist inside our understanding of time. He is eternal. He sees my past, my present and my future – all at the same time.
So when I’m praying and I’m full of faith and standing on His word for deliverance He is ready to move. He might even assign some angels to help me with my situation. But at the same time He hears my words cancelling my prayers so everything He wanted to do to help is now put on hold.
Are you with me so far?
Ok, so the first way the devil attacks us is by getting us to speak negatively about our situation.
Let’s say we learned from our mistakes. Maybe we heard a few messages on the power of the tongue and we are trying really, really hard not do speak death anymore.
Can the devil still use our words against us?
Sure can! Imagine him standing there with a recorder and so here you are going through whatever it is that you’re dealing with right now and every time something happens he tempts you and tries to make you open your mouth to speak death over the situation again. But this time you keep your mouth shut! Or maybe you have even learned to praise God in the midst of your storm so instead of speaking death you are doing the opposite. You are praising God for what He is about to do in your situation.
But the breakthrough doesn’t come. Why? Because the devil is playing back all the negative words you have said about your situation in the past.
He is the accuser of the brethren, right? That is what he does, according to the bible, day and night. So your prayers come up before God and He is ready to move on your behalf and here comes the devil and he plays back what you said. Boom. Prayers cancelled. Again.
Why? You did so good! You didn’t curse. You didn’t complain. You didn’t speak death. You praised. You stood on God’s word. You did everything you were supposed to do and still nothing happened.
You missed the Blood of Jesus.
When you got saved and became a born again Christian, the Blood of Jesus was made available to you. So you go before God and you confess your sins and they get covered by the Blood of Jesus so now you are made righteous, right?
But did you also put your words under the Blood?
Imagine you sit in a court room and you want the judge to move on your behalf. You have your evidence as to why the judge should decide in your favor – your prayers, your worship, your praises,… – but then the opposing party comes and says, “That is all fine and dandy but our of their own mouth came this and that so if they don’t even believe that you, as judge, would do that for them, all their evidence is null and void”.
This would be the time to object and bring in the most powerful evidence on earth – the Blood of Jesus. So you repent for what you said and then you put all your negative words, your whining and complaining, your unbelief, whatever it is, under the Blood of Jesus. Now it is gone. The devil can’t use it anymore. You just took away the case he had against you.
Ok, so now we have dealt with our own words of the presence and the past.
But the devil doesn’t give up so easily. Do you ever wonder how many more times he is going to come against you before he finally gets tired of losing? I sure do. I keep thinking, dude, Jesus already won this. You might shake me a bit but we both know how this is going to end so why don’t you just give up and move on already?
Luke 4:13 tells us that “when the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” Now this is Jesus we are talking about and still the devil hadn’t gotten the message that there was no point in pursuing his attacks. He simply quit for the time being only to return at an opportune time.
He is looking for weak spots. Don’t give him any!