November 3, 2023
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Monday was not a favorite day for our local high school football players during the season. No, that was the day they watched the film of last Saturday's game. Oh, it's nice to see what you did right, of course, but see, 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 do better. 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 hours - 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. See, he was looking for weaknesses that an opponent could use to hurt them, to beat them. And you know what? That's not a bad idea.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Devil and Your Weakness."
Our word for today from the Word of God; we are in Luke 4, and I'll be reading verses 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've 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 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 very area (put an "if" there. Oh, "if." Are you sure?) because He's got to get you to be 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 forty 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 do almost anything to get, or for acceptance, an appetite for power, or to be in control, maybe it's a sexual appetite, an appetite for money, for the spotlight, or to get even.
See, the devil will go after a sin in that area, 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 vulnerabilities. Imagine the devil having a map of you with red pins in that map wherever he can get you. Now, where would those red pins 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. That's where you need to be opening up completely to Him, daily bringing those areas specifically under His lordship for that day; to win for that day.
Find the scriptures that deal with that weak spot of yours. That's what Jesus did. "It is written..." He said. Be ready to quote the Word of God to the enemy. Treat your weak areas with generous applications of the memorized Word of God so it's part of you.
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."