Jan
22

Finding Strength for Your Weakness

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Matthew 4 records for us the time immediately preceding the launching of the earthly ministry of Jesus. Jesus is "led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil". I don’t know about you but my flesh is already whispering to me, "If that is what it means to be in ministry, you should un-enroll." I mean, Jesus was, well, Jesus, right? He took on the temptations of the wilderness and passed with flying colors. But we are human, right? Enter the mystery of the Gospel into the picture. God sent Jesus into a fleshly body to live as a man full of the Spirit of God to show us how to live. The Word refers to him as the Son of Man. What can we learn from his temptation experience?

Well, much of course. But for today let’s just look at how Jesus faced the first temptation. 

The first temptation that Satan approached him with was the temptation to turn stones into bread. Jesus certainly could have provided bread for himself right in the midst of the wilderness. All the Father had was his. It wouldn’t have been anything new for God to provide bread in the wilderness; He had done so for the children of Israel. Jesus had the power and the right to do so. But he was in a season of fasting. His physical body was weak when Satan came to him. He was hungry. Yet we find Jesus refusing to allow the desires and even needs of his physical body to control him. He faced the temptation by using the Word of God, a very specific Word that fit the situation.

We, too, need to be able to use God’s Word when we face temptation. Jesus answered Satan and quoted Deuteronomy saying, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that precedes from the mouth of God." He did not deny that he was hungry, but he depended upon the truth of the Word. He drew his sword, his weapon of choice, the Word of God.

As you continue in this season of fasting, feast upon the Word for it will strengthen you. Read the words of Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to apply the Word to your life. Look at it as bread.

When we fast, we are often exasperated by our weakness. We don’t bat 1000; sometimes we don’t even bat .200. Instead of allowing that to condemn us and frustrate us, let’s  allow it to remind us how we must depend upon God. We can allow it to remind us of the beauty of His strength. Remember that "In our weakness, He is shown strong." Allow it to be a reminder of the awesome strength of God.

As our awareness of the weakness of our flesh increases, our dependence upon the Spirit must increase. Jesus said, "The words I speak to you are spirit and life."  As you spend time in the Word of God, be sure you do it from a perspective of life, not obligation. Allow the Word to be life to you. The living Word of God, which Jesus referred to as the preceding Word, will strengthen you and provide a place of victory in your temptations.

 

 

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