When the devil had finished all his tempting, he left him [Jesus] until an opportune time. Luke 4:13
My one word for this year is Discovery.
End of last year, God prompted me to start reading through Proverbs in 2023. It's a rich and repetitive source for discovering his wisdom. A girl can’t have too much of it.
Last December, a member of my author Huddle (fiction support and promotional group) invited us to read a chapter of Luke each day, ending on Christmas Eve. I loved the idea and joined in.
December 4th brought to mind Jesus’s temptation by Satan in Luke 4. The account wasn’t new to me—maybe not to you either—but one crucial phrase struck like a missile.
The devil left Jesus … until an opportune time.
On December 7th, I read Proverbs 7 where Solomon gives strict warning to his son about the adulteress who basically represents our idols. (we do all have them!)
Picture this scenario with me: a foolish person who follows the lust of his heart and wanders into the street in the dark of night. Disregarding the father's warning, he comes near the corner of the adulteress’s house where she comes out to meet him—because she’s been actively watching and hopeful he’d leave wisdom’s promise of safety and walk, instead, her direction. (vs 8)
The adulteress is loud and defiant, lurking at every corner—not just her own. She's seductive and persuasive (Proverbs 7:11-12, 21) ... especially at the start of a brand new year when our resolve to do better and love Jesus well is typically at its highest.
Those resolutions and one words we've committed to live by? The devil has taken note of them. He awaits an opportune time for us to forget.
This young man depicted in Proverbs 7 fell prey to the devil’s wiles. Jesus, however, remained armed with the word of God, confounding the devil three times until he gave up … until an opportune time.
When we experience a spiritual victory, let’s remain watchful with a bold confidence in God’s promise to protect. Since the devil has his eye on us, we should do no less.
While the devil is looking for opportune times to run pass interference, let’s be on the lookout for opportunities to make much of God in this new year.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. I Peter 3:15
Should we find ourselves caught in the devil’s snare, let’s stay encouraged. Jesus knows our weaknesses. So does the devil. He warned his disciples that the devil would be disguised as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. (Matthew 7:15)
Nothing has changed since Satan first tempted Eve. It worked masterfully, and he'll continue to search the streets for us.
May we keep close to God and use opportune times to honor him.
Points to Ponder
1. What opportunities has God given you to serve or share his good news?
2. When has the devil returned to find you unaware?
3. How can you better prepare and guard your heart and mind in 2023?
Thanks for reading!
If you were inspired by today's post and know others who would enjoy it, I'd be super grateful if you'd share.
1. Sweeter with You—book 2 in The Heart of Moreland Manor series (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.) is out now! I'm accepting just a few more qualifying members to join my Mary's Reader Cheer Leaders promo team. Email me if interested.
2. A Steel Rose*, a contemporary romance novella set in central Washington, is part of a multi-author project (MAP) and will release March 28th, 2023.
*To follow the journey and get in on tons of GIVEAWAYS, I invite you to join our Wild Rose Ridge Readers 🌹 Facebook group.
Until next time,
MARY'S FICTION SHELF
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✏️ This I Promise You (Gardenia Press)
Prequel to The Heart of Moreland Manor series.
What if finding your heart's desire means entrusting it ... just once more ... to the one who broke it?
Book #1 in The Heart of Moreland Manor series.
What if you didn't want your inheritance but it led to your greatest dream?
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What if your greatest dream was realized in letting it go?
MARY'S DEVOTIONAL SHELF
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A tool to help develop the practice of asking, "What truth did the morning bring?" Perfect for those who want a breezy but soul-stirring message to jump start their day.