Spiritual attacks from the devil often follow spiritual highs with the Lord. We see this with the baptism of Jesus Christ.
In Jn 1:29-34, we see why John baptized the men of Israel and why he baptized Jesus. John preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And he baptized Jesus that he should be manifest to Israel.
In Matt 3:13-17 when the Holy Spirit descended as a dove and lighted on Jesus, John knew that he was the Son of God, and together they fulfilled all righteousness. Even the Father spoke from heaven, identifying his Son and proclaiming that he was pleased.
In Matt 4:1, after such a great spiritual experience, look what happened. Right after Jesus was baptized, the Spirit led him into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Handling Spiritual Attacks
You are not going to do right and get away with it. You will face spiritual attacks. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness and his Father was pleased. But there was an attack from the devil right around the corner. The Lord knew it was coming and even led his Son into it.
We have to see how Jesus survived the attack because we will face the same thing. The Lord may not set up your encounter with the devil, but you can be sure that spiritual attacks will come. How did Jesus handle the attack?
Jesus prayed in Lk 3:21. Notice that he was praying before the temptation came. Prayer time usually suffers when you get busy doing something good for the Lord. So, pray much before getting busy and spend much time praying right after things settle back down a bit.
Jesus Quoted Scripture
Jesus quoted scripture in Lk 4:4, 8, 12. It is very easy to give into your flesh, your eyes, or your pride after coming through a spiritual high, 1 Jn 2:16. These are the principle areas of attack. Your best defense is scripture. The whole armor of God includes the girdle of truth, the sword of the Spirit, and the shield of faith, Eph 6:14-17. All three of these are directly connected to the Bible.
In other words, you must believe and rely upon what God said. The shield of faith quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked. The devil is a clever liar and you must defend yourself against his lies.
For example, the devil said to Jesus “If”. The devil surely knew who Jesus was. All the devils came to him and proclaimed that he was the Holy One of God. He just said “If” to provoke Jesus. In Lk 4:6 the devil said, “all this power… to whomsoever I will give it”. Jesus got all the power in heaven and in earth after his resurrection and he didn’t get it from the devil. He got it from his Father, Matt 28:18.
Jesus Humbled Himself
In Lk 4:13, the devil departed from Jesus. In Jas 4:6-8 we fend off attacks from the devil by first submitting to God. Then James said, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”.
To protect yourself from an attack after a spiritual victory, pray, believe and rely upon scripture, and humble yourself. The devil can’t knock you down if you are already sprawled out on the ground.
Benefits of Spiritual Attacks
Why did the Lord allow this attack?
In Lk 4:1 notice that Jesus went into the wilderness full of the Holy Ghost. But after the temptation he returned in the power of the Spirit, Lk 4:14. Facing an attack from the enemy will strengthen you with power from the Holy Spirit. Look at 1 Pet 5:8-10.
From Heb 4:14-16 we see that Jesus is a high priest who has been through what we go through and so he knows how to strengthen and console us. Likewise, it’s easier for you to minister to people when you’ve been through what they are going through, 2 Cor 1:4-7.
One other thing to remember. Lk 4:13 says, “for a season”. What we’ve studied here won’t happen just once. We must always be vigilant.