Have you ever had an encounter with Satan himself? As far as I know, I have not. This is because, to put it bluntly, I don’t rate that high. The chances are, you’ve never encountered Satan either. I say that because of a little passage in the book of Luke. Jesus had just finished 40 days of fasting in the desert with Satan trying to tempt him. It reads, “When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13).
The phrase to notice here contains two words, “Opportune time.” It implies that there were many times where opposing Jesus was not opportune. In fact, I’d like to share five important truths about Satan and your relationship to him, from this passage. Satan does not attack willy nilly
Satan doesn’t carpet bomb his enemy or attack at every possible moment. He waits for opportune times. He attacks surgically. Isn’t it interesting that we know nothing of Satan’s attacks on Jesus for the first 30 years of his life?
Satan thinks and acts strategically
We also see this in John 10:10. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. These are tactics of the enemy used to fulfill his strategies as he works toward a goal he wants to accomplish. This implies that not everyone is his target. Sometimes he stands in opposition to someone because it is to his strategic advantage to do so. Other times he does not. How does your life fit into Satan’s strategy? Are you someone he might worry about? No offense, but probably not. This leads us to an important truth.
Satan attacks the big boys. You have likely never encountered him
Out of all of the billions of people alive on earth, I seriously doubt I rate as high enough of a threat to be a direct concern of Satan. How about you?
Consider that most of Jesus’ demonic encounters were not with Satan himself. Jesus usually encountered other demons of various strength and importance. But we are only told of a few times about Jesus’ encounters with Satan. And all of those encounters were strategically timed. If this was true about Jesus’ encounters with the Enemy, then how much more with you and I?
Satan attacks at opportune times. So do his demons
Here’s the big question we should entertain concerning this passage. What constitutes an opportune time in your life for a demonic attack? Consider when Satan attacked Jesus, after fasting for 40 days. At a great moment of sacrificial devotion Satan attacked. Yes, Jesus was physically weakened by his fast. But it was also a time of spiritual intensity. Watch out! Demons come upon us not only in moments of weakness, but also in moments of great devotion, spiritual fervor, and passion. But also keep the following in mind.
Opposition isn’t always from Satan
Satan seeks opportunities best fitting his goals. Sometimes opposition is just other people and isn’t spiritual. Don’t over spiritualize your troubles. Most of the attacks against Jesus were just from people. Yes, there may have been a spiritual component to many of them, but here’s the thing—those assumed spiritual components are not revealed.
Without wanting to be offensive, let me say that if you are a regular Joe like me then you don’t warrant Satan’s personal attention. But be on your guard anyway. The tactics that his demons use are no different than those Satan uses himself.