One Day He'll Leave

Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4:11)

I can tell you the exact day the devil (or at least one of his minions) turned his attention to harassing me about a particular insecurity that I’ve been wrestling with for some time now. I’d have to pull out a calendar and do a little calculating, a little remembering, but I could pinpoint the day and probably even the hour if pressed.

I remember when he showed up in my head, whispering insidious lies, waving the banners of doubt and fear, calling me names, and distracting me from the truth. I remember the circumstances upon which he launched his attack.

Unfortunately, I also remember how I fell for his sneaky attack, hook, line and sinker. Unlike Jesus, I failed to disarm the enemy with the sword of truth. I didn’t hold up my shield of faith and quench the fiery darts he had aimed at me. Instead, I let him set up camp and build a stronghold in the battleground of my mind.

Since that day I’ve been trying to regain the ground I lost in that initial skirmish. It was a costly battle because I let my guard down. Instead of living on the high ground while my enemy hovers down in the low lands, I have found myself trying to climb on top again, struggling to get victory over this pesky, perpetual enemy.

Matthew 4:11 encourages me because it indicates that when we string enough victories together, Satan will eventually “leave us.” He may not leave forever, of course, but he will weary of our strong, decisive victories and quit pestering us over issues on which we have delivered the final blow.

We’re not really sure how many temptations the devil fired at Jesus during those long, hungry days in the desert, but we know of at least three. And we also know that while Jesus was tempted in all things during His earthly ministry (Hebrews 4:15), He never once succumbed to those temptations. He was victorious every time. And after a time, Satan left...and angels moved in, soothing the weary Soldier and ministering to His battle-worn man.

When Satan cast lies and doubts and shortcuts at Jesus, the Son of God countered with truth. And truth defeated Satan each time. Truth kept Jesus from believing lies, from doubting, from taking shortcuts and from diverging one iota from the Father’s will for Him. Truth will do the same for you and me.

I remember the day the enemy showed up on this particular battleground on which I still am waging war. But I also take courage in the fact that there will be a day when, defeated by my strung together victories, he will slump away. And I am becoming more and more adept at garnering truth, loading it into my arsenal, and firing it with confidence at the father of lies. I’m still struggling to get on top of the mountain again. But I’ll get there. And he will leave. And I will make note of that day and give God all the glory. You can be sure of that.

Are you weary from a battle with the enemy today? Take courage. Jesus said that while we are in this world we will struggle with the enemy, but through Him we can be overcomers. Persevere. Choose obedience today. String together one victorious day with another. And then another. And another. And one day the enemy will leave.

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