"This Fight Ain’t Got Any Rear!"
"And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season" (Luke 4:13 – King James Version).
I love studying history; the War of Northern Aggression and World War II are my favorite subjects. Historian Shelby Foote tells of a soldier who was wounded at the battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War and was ordered to go to the rear. The fighting was fierce and within minutes he returned to his commanding officer. "Captain, give me a gun!" he shouted. "This fight ain’t got any rear!"
Once Satan finally realized that he had no ground to stand on in trying to tempt Christ he left Jesus alone. It is key to note that it was only for a season. That is to say that Satan stopped trying to tempt Jesus for the time being.
We are in a fight that does not have a rear! There may be moments of relief, but there is no permanent let up. The apostle Paul commented on the forces arrayed against Christians in this manner: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12 – KJV). As our battle is against supernatural forces I imagine that quite often their schemes run short, but I do not think their energies wane.
Today’s word is plain and short: be watchful and be ready. We already know Satan will come against us with deception and will try to appeal to every one of our facilities. What we need to realize is that he is pretty much relentless too. He picks his moments too. Like a lion, Satan watches for the prey to become weak (1 Peter 5:8). He will come against us when we are most near to God, but his predatory nature means he tries to catch us when we are under strain or distracted more than any other time.
Again, today’s word is simple, straight and to the point. Don’t get cocky if you have victory over some temptation, because the battle may be over but the war wages on. That Civil War soldier summed up the way we should view battling temptation: "Captain, give me a gun! This fight ain’t got any rear!" Our prayer may echo that: "Lord, arm me with the sword of the Spirit; the war is never ending!"