NOTE: today's was-going-to-be post was premised on an expected snail-mail arrival... which didn't. So instead, I offer you this brief hortatory thought.
The fourth chapter of Luke's gospel relates Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. The narrative concludes with these words (Luke 4:13):
Καὶ συντελέσας πάντα πειρασμὸν ὁ διάβολος ἀπέστη ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἄχρι καιροῦ.
And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
Yet when he left, it was only for a time. He would be back. He wasn't finished. He'd try again.
My simply cautionary thought to myself and to you is: if thus with Christ, then certainly thus with us as well.
In the movie version of the "Lord of the Rings," Smeagol tells his Gollum-personna to leave and never return. He leaves... and returns.
So we may tell our "Gollum" to leave us forever, and we may mean it heartily... but Satan's forces at best will only leave us until a good opportunity, in this life. I mean good heavens, just think about it: Satan never once scored the slightest hint of a victory off of Jesus. He has scored many off of us, on our best days. Do you really think he'll give up? On the likes of you and me? When he never gave up on Jesus? Foolish, foolish, foolish thought.
But it won't be forever, for the believer. Thank God, it won't be forever.
Until then, watch, pray, be on guard. Some of the finest Christians I knew fell horribly. We're no better, nor is our enemy duller nor less persistent.
God hasten the day when the parting will be total, final, and eternal!