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Matthew 4:11

The Wilderness Victory

11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

Hans was half Norwegian elk hound and half keeshond, a plush, medium size dog who has somehow become a part of our family. He is a very friendly dog and, whenever someone comes to visit, he will jump up at them and try to get them to play with him. This of course scares many visitors, because they do not know him. The dog seems to thrive on their fright and gets more aggressive when they shy from him. In truth, however, the dog is a little coward. One of my friends waits for Hans to act up and then barks at him. It scares the dog half to death and he will run off and bark back from a safe distance, but, as soon as my friend sits down or turns his back, Hans comes right back to bother him.

The devil is just like Hans. He is very aggressive, his powers are very limited, and the scripture tells us that we should resist him and he will flee.

In this verse we are given a very striking picture of our Lord's victory over the devil. "Then the devil leaveth him..." is almost redundant. Jesus said, "Get thee hence, Satan." What else could we expect the devil to do? This was God incarnate speaking to him. Satan had no choice in the matter. Jesus had overcome every temptation that Satan had offered, not only the three we are told about, but every temptation. Luke 4:13 says, "..when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season." Jesus resisted and the devil fled.

Matthew writes "and, behold,..." We are to look with our mind's eye at the fulfillment of Jesus' words, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." We are to look and see the image of a wearied and hungry man being fed and ministered to by the angels of God. It was God's command that sent them there. It was Jesus' faith that warranted them. What a beautiful scene of strength, of royalty, and of peace all set in that barren and rocky wilderness.

Satan, we can be assured, was not far off. He watched the whole thing. Like my dog, he would return when he felt safe. Some translate Luke 4:13, "..for a season..", as meaning "until a good opportunity." He watches and he waits and then he comes again.

As Christians, we are one with Christ and the devil is always lurking in the shadows, looking for the right opportunity. As disciples, we must be aware of where and when, in the course of our ministries, an opportunity might be making itself available to him. We must judge and correct ourselves before he can strike. Insufficient preparation, prayer, study, compassion, and confident humility are all weaknesses that open the door for the devil's attacks.

As long as we are on this earth, we are strangers in a place that is foreign and hostile toward us, but it cannot steal our ability to have a wilderness victory. We come armed with the word of God, which is more powerful than any two edged sword. It can slay that great dragon known as the devil. Make an effort to have it with you at all times by planting it in your heart.

Before The Throne:

Ask God to show you every area where the devil could enter your life and ministry. Pray that He would provide for all of your needs. If you have resisted the devil lately, ask for the ministry of His angels to strengthen you for the next attack. Thank the Lord for having defeated Satan and for limiting his power.

For Further Study:

** the devil. Luke 4:13; Luke 22:53; John 14:30; ** behold. Matt 4:6; Matt 26:53; Matt 28:2-5; Mark 1:13; Luke 22:43; 1Tim 3:16; Heb 1:6, 14; Rev 5:11-12;


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