After the Dove Came the Devil
Dr. James Spinnati
Often after our greatest victories, the greatest challenges and temptations of the Christian life will come upon us. I have found that after great blessings in my life, after God works in a powerful way, the devil will always “show up” to “throw water on the fire” trying his best to discourage and defeat your Christianity. I always tell the young preacher boys at the Sonshine School of Evangelism that when good times come that they are not as good as you think they are and when bad times come they are not as bad as you think they are. I also tell them to remember that when you are on the “top of the mountain” the devil will be climbing up the other side thinking of ways to disrupt your joy so that he can knock you back down the “mountain” into the “valley of despair”.
Remember the incident in Elijah’s life when God had powerfully worked through him on Mount Carmel? Not long after that great victory Elijah became so discouraged that he wanted to die. Brothers and sisters great victories are not long lasting. If you don’t think so just think about our Lord. After Jesus was transfigured, He came down from the mountain to find a demon-possessed man waiting on Him. Then again I remember Jesus and what happened to Him after He was baptized in the Jordan River. The Holy Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove and God said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Right after that they held a banquet in Jesus’ honor and everyone patted Him on the back and told Him how wonderful He was. No that never ever happened; instead immediately after His immersion He was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. There wasn’t any time to celebrate the proclamation from God the Father. It is something to think about, but after the dove; came the devil!
The devil will always be there to challenge whatever God has done. It may come after church, after God has blessed you. You have just sang the songs of the faith, heard the Word of God and experienced divine fellowship and as you leave the parking lot you get hit with a heavy-duty temptation. Someone cuts you off and about wreaks you and your family and they are the ones yelling and cussing at you. For a second you think about retaliating; the devil just “broadsided you” and you weren’t ready. You wonder how that could happen and then you realize that the devil just showed up. Brothers and sisters that incident is just the devil’s way of telling you he is still active and desires to discourage you spiritually taking your joy away. He wants to make your life miserable. Most importantly, he wants to steal anything that God has done in your life.
The devil is vigilant and he’s looking for any part of our life that we have left unprotected. That is why we need to pray for any person whom we know that God is using. Remember, the more you step out in faith, the more you serve God, the more you can expect opposition from the devil. The devil did the same thing as he taunted God because God protected Job. Job 1:10 and 11 says, “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.”
The devil was saying the only reason that Job loves you God is because you protect him. After that time God removed His hedge of protection from Job and yet through all the trials that Job suffered he was still faithful because he was fully committed to the Lord! Someone asked me one time; what was the difference between a hedge and a wall? Brothers and sisters a wall is constructed by mankind’s physical hands and will deteriorate over time, but a hedge is a living thing created by God almighty and with proper care and attention it will only grow thicker, taller, and stronger year after year. That is the “hedge” that we as God’s children need to plant around our children, our wife, our husband, and our brothers and sisters in Christ in order to hamstring the god of this world and defeat him. It is a “hedge of prayer” that God has blessed us with in order to defeat any enemy and claim complete victory. Therefore I say to all my brothers and sisters in Christ, “Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. And never ever forget to pray!”