Beware of the opportune time! This is the ominous phrase used of Satan’s strategy following the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness, at the beginning of His ministry.
“When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.” Luke 4:13
His strategy in our lives is further described by Peter,
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, . . . After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:8, 10
Opportune times for the Devil come in everyone’s life. When drunk, Lot committed incest with his daughters. King David stumbled into lust, adultery, deceit, and murder, when his guard was down. Innocent Joseph was framed by his master’s wife when finally she found him alone in the house with her. Solomon was blessed, wise, and very wealthy, but he fell into rebellion against God, in multiple forbidden marriages to pagan women. Peter, who boldly claimed to Jesus that he would never forsake Him, fearfully denied Him repeatedly during the trial of Jesus.
When do you find yourself in a compromised position of weakness, open to The Tempter? It is a healthy discipline to regularly review the situations we put ourselves in daily. To be circumspect. Cautious. Alert.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit . . .” 1 Peter 1:13
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12
This is not being an uptight, fearful kill-joy. It is being prudent, eyes wide open, seeing the invisible dangers surrounding us. And being wise enough to make some emergency mid-course corrections before it is too late and we suffer harm. And others be harmed in collateral damage.