by Fred Kinzie, Robert Henson, Wayne Mitchell
Everything in life has an enemy. As a new Christian, you are no exception. You will not go far on this pilgrim journey until you meet opposition, both from within and without.
Salvation is a joyous experience! The prophet Isaiah declared, “With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:13). The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy . . . in believing” (Romans 15:13). Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Every born-again believer can expect to experience joy, God’s joy, in believing, and at times it may be rapturous.
Sometimes, however, without warning, that rapturous joy can turn into heaviness, even to the extent of spiritual depression. Overnight, the wells seem to dry up. “Where did it go?” you may ask. “How did it slip away? From where did this feeling of heaviness come? Have I lost the wonderful salvation that yesterday I so thoroughly enjoyed? Yesterday, the exuberance seemed unbelievable; today it is but a memory. Could it have been an illusion? What happened?”
Satan has entered the scene. Not knowing the Word of God and unaware that Satan is attacking them, many new Christians have thrown in the towel at this point. Had they known what to expect from Satan, and that wonderful victory could be theirs through the Lord Jesus Christ, they would have held on to God and would not have given up so quickly.
Remember this whenever you are attacked by Satan: regardless from whom or where it comes, the conflict is between God and Satan. Jesus Christ came into the world to secure a final victory over Satan, and there remains one final bout with him to accomplish that purpose!
What Jesus Faced after His Baptism
While Christ was here on the earth He faced Satan in two major battles. One was immediately after His baptism, the other at Calvary. Thank God, He was the victor both times! He will be the victor in the last bout also, as John recorded in Revelation 20:1-10.
When Jesus emerged from the waters of baptism, He did not begin His wonderful ministry immediately. Instead He went directly into the wilderness. The Scripture says that the Spirit led Him to the wilderness (Luke 4:1). We learn from this example that when we are directed by the Spirit, we will not always face pleasant things. Rather, we will often find ourselves in hot water, sometimes up to our necks!
When someone gives his heart to the Lord and is born again of the water and Spirit, he becomes a son of God (Romans 8:14-18; I John 3:1-3). As Satan challenged the Sonship of Christ, so will he challenge our being a son of God, a joint-heir with Christ.
Satan’s challenge to Christ was three pronged. “If thou be the Son of God . . .” was the beginning statement of Satan on two of the temptations. At the other temptation, where he showed Christ all the kingdoms of the world and asserted that he (Satan) had jurisdiction over them, he declared, ‘All of this power will I give thee . . . if thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine” (Luke 4:6-7).
By quoting what was written in the Word, Jesus successfully rebuffed Satan and came out of the wilderness victorious! He faced Satan with, “It is written. . . .” This response was His victory, and it will be yours!