Great moments of communion with God are often followed by great attacks from the devil. Many Christians are taken off guard when this happens. They then begin to wonder whether their recently concluded session of communion with God was real or just make-believe. If it was real, they continue to wonder, why was it that such a strong temptation should overwhelm them as soon as they finished their Bible Reading, or got up from their knees or left the revival meeting? A closer look at the Bible will reveal the answer to this pressing question.
We have two examples or reflections from the Bible to understand the pattern of Attack follows Anointing.
Reflection: David (2 Samuel 5:17 to 25, 1 Chronicles 14:8 to 16)
David was anointed king over Israel. The Philistines came to know about it. And when they knew about it they went up in full force to search for David. But David took precautions and went down to the stronghold. Then he inquired of God. God assured him that he will definitely gain victory over the Philistines. Thus encouraged David attacked them and defeated them.
But the war was far from over. The Philistines regrouped again. They again spread out in the valley of Rephaim. David again inquired of the Lord. God told him not to attack them from the front but to circle them from behind and attack them in front of the balsam trees. God directed him to attack when he heard the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees. That would mean that God had gone out in front to strike the Philistines. David obeyed and won a great victory.
David was anointed king. His enemies the Philistines immediately attacked. They were defeated. Yet once again they regrouped and attacked again. This time also David defeated them. It is clearly evident that the anointing of David as king provoked the attack from his enemies. Thus it proves the pattern that Attack follows anointing.
Reflection: Jesus (Matthew 4:1 to 11, Luke 4: 1 to 13, Matthew 16:23, Mark 8:33)
Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. The high moment came when the Spirit of God descended on Him like a dove and God’s voice from heaven proclaimed Jesus to be His Son in whom He was well pleased.
Immediately after the anointing by the Spirit of God he was led by the Spirit into the desert. There He was tempted by the devil. The Bible says that Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” when he came from the Jordan river. Now Jesus was in the desert for forty days and forty nights.
Three specific temptations that the devil threw at Jesus have been recorded in the Scriptures. Jesus defeated all these three temptations by quoting the appropriate Scriptures. Before the truth of God’s Word in the mouth of the “Word become flesh” standing before him, Satan was defeated.
Yet the Bible says that: “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13 NIV).
This opportune time came after another high moment in the life of Jesus. This time the disciples especially Peter understood and stated clearly who Jesus was–“the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Satisfied that they had understood who He was, Jesus from that moment started explaining to them that He must go to Jerusalem where He will suffer and die and be raised to life on the third day.
On hearing this Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him. Peter told Jesus: “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” But Jesus turned and said to him, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Ref. Matthew 16:22,23 NIV; Mark 8:32,33).
We find in these incidents in the life of Jesus that He was anointed by the Spirit of God. Immediately afterwards He was subject to temptation. He won the victory over the devil in this. Yet much later the devil attacked again through Peter. Maybe Satan’s idea was to prevent or divert Jesus from the road to the Cross; the very purpose for which Jesus came to this world. Jesus this time directly attacked Satan saying : “Get behind me, Satan!”
And Jesus continued His journey to Jerusalem. It is again clearly evident from these incidents that the pattern of Attack follows Anointing is true.
Look closely at these two reflections. One in the life of David, God’s anointed king. The other in the life of Jesus, the Son of David and the Son of God, anointed by the Spirit of God. Both David and Jesus were anointed to take up their office or ministry on earth. In fact, we can say that the anointing was a sign of divine approval. It was also the moment of inauguration of their Spirit-filled ministry on earth.
In the life of David, we find that immediately after this anointing he faces enemy attack. In the life of Jesus also, the attack comes immediately following His anointing. Both of them were victorious in the battle against the enemy.
Then we find that the Philistines regroup to attack David again. In Jesus’ life Satan had left until an opportune time. And he attacked through Peter who had just a moment ago made a stunning declaration of faith.
Again, David was instructed by God to follow a different method of attack the second time. He was asked to circle behind the Philistines and move quickly when he heard the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees. David did so and won the second victory. Jesus, the first time had used the Scriptures to defeat the devil. The second time, Jesus knowing that Satan was behind the words that Peter spoke, confronted Satan directly saying: “Get behind me, Satan!” Thus He was strengthened in His resolve to move onward to Jerusalem.
The lessons from these reflections are crystal clear. When you are anointed by the Spirit of God through a meaningful reading of the Bible, a refreshing session of prayer, or through hearing an inspiring and anointed preaching of the Word, there would be Satan to tempt you. Do not doubt the truth of it. Do not relax and be taken off guard.
Haven’t you come home after a meeting of special grace to find quarreling going on in the family? Haven’t little little things all gone wrong together like the drainage getting blocked, the bulbs suddenly burning out, things being lost or damaged etc.? All this after a special anointing by the Spirit of God. What explanation are you waiting for? Aren’t these two reflection from the life of David and Jesus enough to make the truth-beam shine for you?
Yes, anointing always brings an attack for the devil. So“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). When Peter himself says that we need to note it specially. We also need to be careful because the Bible says this also about Satan: “He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short” (Revelation 12:12b NIV).
Never relax after the first victory because Satan waits for an opportune time. Listen to God’s voice and change tactics to attack and expose him even as he changes his tactics to attack you. It is only because many Christians don’t realize that the attack is strongest after the anointing that they fall into sin, shame and defeat. And many others fall after initial victories because they forget that the devil waits for an opportune time to attack again. So be on guard!