Do you believe God has a plan for your life that includes His perfect timing? Maybe He brought you a job at just the right time. Perhaps He has given you divine appointments at just the right time, or He has moved in the hearts of those close to you at just the right time. No doubt, He sees the beginning from the end, so He works out not just how He moves in our lives, but when He moves in our lives.
I think we sometimes forget that Satan also has a plan for our lives and that his plan is also planned. It’s not haphazard or random. It’s calculated. It’s perfectly-timed. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not one to see a demon under every rock. But I do believe we are in a spiritual battle because the Bible says we are (Ephesians 6:12-14). There is a war being waged against Christians by the powers of darkness.
Luke gives us an example of this spiritual battle when Jesus was tempted three times right after spending forty days and forty nights in the wilderness. Then, when Christ overcame Satan’s temptations by refuting him with Scripture, Luke 4:13 says, “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him [Jesus] until an opportune time” (Emphasis mine).
When I recently read this scripture, I thought, Satan’s temptations are perfectly-timed. Then I considered Judas who was tempted directly before the crucifixion of Christ. John 13:2 says, “The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus” (John 13:2). Next I thought about Job whose temptation was perfectly-timed when his wife who told him, “Why don’t you curse God and die?” This was after Satan made it clear that his desire was for Job to curse God to His face (See Job 2:9; 1:11). Then there was Peter who was tempted to deny Christ just before Jesus went to the cross (Luke 22:31).
Yep, it seems that temptations are perfectly-timed at critical moments, sometimes when we are weak, tired, lonely, hungry, afraid, spiritually lazy, prideful, or when a desperate desire has overtaken our sensibilities (James 1:13-14). Micheal Youssef of Leading the Way writes:
“When we are serving and sharing Christ, the enemy will be carefully planning his next and most effective attack on our lives. He does not sit idly, hoping that we will fall into temptation by chance. He calculates the conditions of the battle. He carefully works out the timing of the ambush.”
Maybe you can relate. Maybe you remember a time when you were tempted into sin during a vulnerable moment. I can definitely think of a couple times when desires in me created conditions that made me ripe for spiritual seduction.
All of this may sound like a bummer. But there is great news! We don’t have to lose heart about the trouble of temptation. God promises that in the same way that Jesus overcame temptation by using God’s word as His divine weapon, we can overcome temptation too. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Are you being tempted today to do what you know is wrong? Step back and ask God for help. “If we resist the devil, he will flee from us.” (James 4:7-8)