Satan’s temptations on your tired, bad days

God of life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and wear us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening; when our lives have no music in them and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, we beseech you; turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise.*

Wow.  What a prayer.  It’s a prayer that Augustine prayed 1,600 years ago.  It’s a prayer Jesus could have prayed when He was led into the wilderness.  By the way, if you remember, it wasn’t satan who led Jesus into the wilderness.  It was the Spirit of God.  And after Jesus had fasted for 40 days and nights, when He would have been worn down, that’s when the devil comes knocking.  Satan’s an opportunist.  In the movie The Passion of the Christ, satan leaves and is seen again when Jesus is going to Calvary.  People objected to the movie showing satan or evil there, because the Bible doesn’t tell us that satan was there when Jesus was carrying His cross and was crucified.  I believe he was there.  Luke 4:13 tells us that when he was done tempting Jesus, the devil left until a more opportune time.

Satan is always lurking, always lying in the bushes ready to pounce when we’re tired.  He also tries to distract and preoccupy us.  In the book Joy: The Secret of Being Content, Celeste Walker says satan likes to keep us preoccupied and harried (stressed, tired).  She says,

“We don’t have the time or energy to ponder what we are missing, and if we do, the answer is a good night’s sleep or vacation.  This, of course, is just the way satan likes it.  He wants us to be so involved in ordinary life that we starve without being hungry and thirst without the slightest indication anything is wrong.”

Satan does the tempting and God allows it.  Satan does the distracting and WE allow it.  When we allow satan’s activity to be a distraction, we are giving him power.  When God allows the tempting, He will bring good out of it.  Many times that’s growing closer to Him, relying more on Him, and remembering that it is not our comfort or security that matters, but to glorify Him.   We mustn’t be distracted when “…the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and wear us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening; when our lives have no music in them and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage.”  We must turn our eyes upon Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

 

*From Prayers of the Saints: An Inspired Collection of Holy Wisdom, ed. Woodeene Koenig-Bricker – San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1996

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