Growing Strong in God

Luke 4:14-15, NIV
“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised Him.”

Times of testing are times of great opportunity! We may not think so at the time, but in my own experience I can say that the occasions when I have been personally been under test have always, retrospectively, been huge growth points in my own personal pilgrimage. Sometimes because of the joy that comes through victory, but, sadly, on other occasions, because of the vital lessons learned when things didn’t quite turn out as they should have done!

When Jesus was driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to experience first-hand the direct temptations of the enemy, Luke tells us that He went into the desert ‘full of the Spirit’ (Luke 4:1), but that He returned to begin His ministry in the ‘power of the Spirit’ (Luke 4:14). Overcoming the enemy’s temptations, attacks and strategies will always strengthen us for life’s journey and give us vital ammunition to use in the years ahead whenever the enemy tries to take us off course. For those times will always come, no matter how much we try to avoid them!

Paul didn’t say ‘IF the evil day comes . . .’ when talking about the spiritual warfare that is part of every believer’s life, he said ‘WHEN the evil day comes . . . ‘ (Ephesians 6:13). I never gladly choose to focus on the enemy and his tactics, but Paul made it clear that he had chosen ‘not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices!’ (2 Corinthians 2:11). And if it was necessary for Paul to be alert at all times, because of how the enemy wanted to take him off course, then we, too, should be constantly on our guard about the possibilities and be on our guard also – especially in those areas of our lives which we know are potential danger points.

The temptations Jesus faced were always aimed at destroying Father God’s plans and purposes for His life. In just the same way, Satan wants to destroy God’s plans and purposes for our lives. He is a destiny robber! But as we look to God for daily strength to overcome all the attacks of the enemy, what Satan intended to harm us will actually strengthen us to be God’s overcomers in the journey of life, as we enter into all that He made us to be.

Prayer: Help me, Lord, not to allow temptation to overwhelm me, but give me the strength for today so that as I live life one day at a time, I will see Your purposes come to pass in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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