Monday, September 5, 2011
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Monday was not a favorite day for our local high school football players during the season. See, that was the day they watched the film of last Saturday's game. Oh, now, it's nice to see what you did right, but of course, coaches don't spend much time on that. Most of the coach's attention is focused on what you did wrong or what you could improve on. And so, on Monday you may get yelled at, critiqued, pushed to improve.
I happened to know our head coach pretty well, and I knew that he spent many, many late hours reviewing those films so he'd be ready by Monday. Why? Well, is it because he liked to yell at 16-year-old guys? No. You see, he was looking for weaknesses that an opponent can use to hurt you, to beat you. And you know, that's not a bad idea.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Seeing What Your Opponent Sees."
Our word for today from the Word of God is found in Luke 4:1-4. Basically, you should know as we enter this passage that someone has been watching your films of how you've been playing your game. And they have been sizing up what could bring you down. That opponent is identified for us in Luke 4.
"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert where for forty days He was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them He was hungry. The devil said to Him, 'If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.' Jesus answered, 'It is written, man does not live by bread alone.'"
Now, this passage really exposes for us the two areas that the devil tries to exploit. First, he'll exploit an area where God has been specifically speaking to you. Yeah. He will, because well look, just before this incident, Jesus was baptized, a voice came from heaven saying, "You are My Son." So what does the devil say? "If you are God's Son..."
Think of areas where God has been speaking to you over the last few months; things He's really affirmed to you, challenged you with, changed you with. Well, the devil's going to try to discourage you in that area, before you're too strong to be stopped.
Secondly, he'll try to attack us in an area where we have a weakness. And where would Jesus be weak after 40 days of not eating? Of course, He's going to be tempted to leave God's will to get some food, and the devil tries that temptation on Him. He appeals to his appetite. Now, maybe you have an appetite that keeps showing up in the films as a weak spot of yours; an appetite for attention that you'll almost do anything to get, or for acceptance, or an appetite for power, to be in control, a sexual appetite, an appetite for money, for the spotlight maybe, or to get even.
See, the devil will go after a sin in that area, a sin score. And it's all downhill from there. It's important for you to look at the films and see what your opponent is seeing. Be honest about your vulnerable areas. Imagine the devil having a map of you with red pins in that map wherever he can get you. Now, where would those would be for you?
Now, the point here is not to focus on the enemy. He doesn't need any more credit. It's to make your weak spots the centerpiece of your growing relationship with Christ; daily bringing specifically those areas of weakness under His lordship for that day.
Find the scriptures that deal with that weakness as Jesus did, and be ready to quote the Word of God. Treat your weak areas with generous applications of the memorized Word of God.
And when your weak spots drive you to depend on Jesus as you never have before, well then you can say with Paul, "When I am weak, then I am strong."