Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
–1 Corinthians 10:12
When it comes to luring us into sin, Satan is a master fisherman–he knows exactly when to dangle the right bait in front of us. My friend Steve Lawson says there are four times in our lives when we are most vulnerable to Satan’s temptation. First of all, you are vulnerable to Satan’s temptation when you have experienced great success. Every good mountain climber will tell you the most dangerous part of an expedition is not the ascent but the descent. After the euphoria of reaching the summit, you tend to be less careful and more prone to stumbling. I think that may be what Paul had in mind when he said in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” You are prone to temptation after experiencing success.
Second, you are prone to temptation when you are tired. When you are emotionally and physically spent, you tend to be more open to Satan’s allurements. Think about Elijah in 1 Kings 19. He was emotionally exhausted after the battle on Mount Carmel. When Queen Jezebel said, “I am going to kill you,” he became frightened and ran for miles without stopping. He had defeated hundreds of prophets on Mount Carmel, but one threat sent him running scared. How do you explain that? He was emotionally exhausted, and his perspective was distorted. After running away, he was also physically exhausted. He crawled under a tree and said, “O Lord, take my life” (v. 4). What led to that? He was exhausted both physically and emotionally. Know that when you are tired you are open to the evil one’s temptations.
Third, you are vulnerable when you are alone. Satan loves to isolate and then tempt. Maybe right now you are feeling especially lonely. It may be because of a difficulty in a relationship, or the unexpected death of a loved one, or even a business trip that has you alone in an unfamiliar place. It is when you are alone that Satan will come to you and say, “Nobody can see what you are doing,” or, “Nobody really cares about you.” When you are alone, you are more vulnerable to Satan’s enticements.
Finally, you are prone to temptation when you are waiting on God. Whether you are waiting on God to answer your cry for help or to fulfill a promise He made to you, it is in that waiting time when the tempter says, “Why hasn’t God answered your prayer? Maybe He does not really care about you. Maybe He does not even exist.” That is what happened to Abraham and Sarah. God promised to give them a child, and they waited and waited and waited. Eventually Abraham took matters into his own hands and had a child with his servant Hagar, before Sarah also became pregnant. The conflict between his two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, still reverberates today in the Middle East–all because Abraham became vulnerable to Satan’s temptation during that waiting time. Do not be surprised if that is when the tempter comes into your life as well.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Blueprint For Your Destruction” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.