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Spiritual victories can prompt Satan to attack, pastor says

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–As evidenced by the life of Jesus Christ, spiritual victories in the life of a Christian provide an “opportune time” for Satan’s attacks, said Mac Brunson, pastor of Green Street Baptist Church, High Point, N.C.
“You begin to experience some spiritual victories in your life and you’re going to come under an intense period of extreme temptation,” Brunson declared Sept. 4 during a chapel address at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
Brunson, who has been pastor of the 3,200-member High Point church for five years, is one of two likely nominees for the presidency of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Jack Causey, pastor of First Baptist Church, Statesville, N.C., for the past 11 years, also is seeking election to the Baptist state convention’s top post.
A new president will be elected in November by messengers at the annual state convention meeting in Winston-Salem, N.C. The new president will succeed Greg Mathis, pastor of Mudcreek Baptist Church, Hendersonville, N.C. Mathis is competing his second one-year term in office, the maximum term allowed under state convention rules.
Shortly after Christ’s public baptism, recounted Brunson, the Gospels record that Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days in the wilderness.
“Jesus had just come out of the waters of the Jordan River where he had been baptized,” said Brunson. “The heavens opened up and the spirit of God descended like a dove and the voice of the Father said, ‘this is my beloved Son, in whom I’m well pleased.'” At Christ’s baptism, the Son of God was publicly declaring to fulfill his Father’s will by identifying himself with condemned humanity including thieves, liars, prostitutes and murderers.
“When he stood there, he said these are the people that I’m going to identify with because I’ve come to deliver them out of the domain of darkness and into the kingdom of Light,” said Brunson.
Unlike Christ, who was able to reject Satan’s temptations following John the Baptist’s proclamation of Christ as the Messiah, Christians have difficulty handling spiritual victories in their lives, he said.
Too often, Brunson said, when Christians are blessed by God, they are vulnerable to becoming less dependent on the spirit of God. Daily prayer and Bible study are usually the first spiritual disciplines Satan attempts to conquer, he said.
“When you come to the place where you decide that you are going to take a stand and you’re going to do something for the kingdom of God, you’re going to come under tremendous spiritual attack,” said Brunson. “You decide that you are going to take a stand for something and stand for what is godly, and what is biblical, and what is right, and people are going to come at you from every single angle.”
Brunson cited five other occasions when Christians are more vulnerable to temptation based on Satan’s temptation of Christ in the wilderness. They are:
— during times of isolation;
— during times of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion;
— when you’re waiting on God;
— when you’re actively involved in church;
— when you begin to do something new for Christ.
Regarding Satan’s attack on those in the church, Brunson said, “When temptation comes inside the family of God, it is always so well camouflaged. … Inside the church our feelings run the highest, our emotions are the greatest, our convictions are the deepest and our expectations are the most.”
Referring to Hebrews 2:18, Brunson said Christians, like Christ, can have victory over temptation.
“Every single time you go through a temptation, he (Christ) says, ‘if you’ll call on me, I’ll pour myself into you,'” asserted Brunson. “‘I’ll (Christ) nourish you through that time.’ That doesn’t mean he will deliver you out of it. It means he’ll deliver you through that.”

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  • Lee Weeks