Here I stand in my kitchen, pouring my second cup of coffee. I take notice of how quiet the house is…honestly, I love silence. It allows me the space to think clearly. Over the years, I developed a habit of rushing to get as much done as I could in the morning before the kids woke up. Once their feet hit the floor, the day rushed speedily ahead and didn’t slow down until their heads were nestled on their pillows that night. Now that my children are grown my morning routine has changed. I still find myself rushing to get chores done in the morning, but there is no longer pitter-pattering of little feet around me. Instead, I have more time to reflect and pray. After the coffee pot is filled and the laundry basket is emptied, I sit in my room and spend time with God. What this looked like years ago depended on my mood – I don’t like admitting that, but it did. If life was good, I said a prayer thanking God for the beautiful day, my family, and asked Him to be with me throughout the day. If I was going through a difficult time, there were tears and my prayers sounded more like “God please fix this!” Through the years, that has changed. It’s not because I don’t have good days to be thankful for or difficult things to work through, it’s just that I am not praying out of my emotions anymore. Now, don’t get me wrong, God can handle my emotions. I just don’t approach prayer in the same way anymore because I’ve come to understand who I am and who He is. This came only by spending time in His word, discovering His character and who He says I am, and learning about Jesus’ life. Jesus spent so much time in prayer… and do you know who knew He spent so much time in prayer? Satan.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. – Luke 4:1-2
Jesus, fasting, was tempted by satan…basically saying to Jesus “If you are the Son of God, prove it!” Satan knew that Jesus was the Son of God…Jesus knew He was the Son of God…there was nothing to prove. Jesus didn’t let hunger get the best of him, pride get the best of Him, or His emotions get the best of Him. He quoted scripture, God’s words. Since Jesus was the Word become flesh, with each word, He knew the truth, was the truth, and injected truth in the face of his adversary…not feelings…not doubt…. but TRUTH. “For it is written…” Jesus trusted God’s plan, even to death.
Satan, once being Lucifer, full of wisdom, fell because of his pride. His prideful nature wanted to see Jesus fail. Satan wanted victory…to see Jesus yield to His flesh. Satan wanted to see Jesus worship him instead of the One True God. Satan wanted to see Jesus fall from the temple and plummet to his death. He even quoted scripture to Jesus (Luke 4:10) but silly satan, your tricks and manipulation of God’s word (because yes, satan knew scripture too) couldn’t make Jesus doubt God’s plan. You see, something else that Jesus was equipped with that satan was not…. The Holy Spirit!
Guess what my friend? When you accept Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, YOU are gifted by God with the Holy Spirit. God’s spirit. Let that sink in for a minute. The same Spirit that was with Jesus in the wilderness…the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave…the same Spirit that descended on the crowd on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2)…yeah, THAT spirit! Not a spirit of fear. Not a spirit of doubt. Not a spirit of worry. Not a spirit of defeat. God’s spirit isn’t made up of any of those things! His spirit is the source of power and strength that we are given; our inheritance as a child of God. From THAT place, we are victorious in all things.
Jesus didn’t abdicate His position that day, and by example, He taught us that we don’t have to abdicate our inheritance either. As we spend more time with God, our prayers change because we better understand Him and better understand how He sees us and who we are to Him. Now, when I face temptation or fear or doubt, the Holy Spirit guides my thoughts and my words back to God’s truth.
I can say this because last week, I was face to face with satan in the most treacherous wilderness that I ever trod. The enemy tried his hardest to make me doubt who I was and God’s plan for me and my family. It didn’t work. Having faced it and withstanding the barrage of lies that satan threw at me, I can say that I remain standing on God’s truth. My heart is stronger and I’m equipped to handle the days and months ahead because I know that no matter what I face – God keeps His promises. No matter what or who I face here, I have His Spirit within me so that I can stay focused on Him, His truth, and His promises.
God has a plan, even when satan thinks he is about to clutch a victory!
No victory for you today, satan! One day, I hope to hear “well done, my good and faithful servant” but today I am hearing “well done, my beloved one.”
Lord, you loved me so much that you sent your Son to save me. As if that wasn’t enough, in your goodness, you gifted me with your Holy Spirit. I am not alone in any temptation. Your promises give me hope, and your spirit gives me life everlasting. I pray that your words permeate my soul and my words reflect your truth and goodness. I praise you, Lord. Please continue to shine your face upon me and be gracious to me; LORD lift up your countenance on me and give me peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.