When I Am Weak
Bible Reading: Luke 4:1-4
[F]or forty days [Jesus] was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. Luke 4:2, NIV
SUPPOSE YOU’RE PLAYING a game of tackle football against three people. If you get a chance to run the ball, would you run in the direction of
• the biggest guy in your neighborhood?
• a guy about the size of a Chihuahua?
Or imagine that your shop teacher at school tells you to saw through a piece of wood balanced between two sawhorses. You notice that the wood is about a foot thick on one end, but it’s only three or four inches thick on the other end. Would you
• saw through the thick end?
• saw through the thin end?
Or say you plan to ask your parents for twenty dollars to spend at the mall. Would you
• ask them when their resistance is likely to be strong (like right after they’ve caught you shaving the dog)?
• ask them when their resistance is likely to be weak (like right after you’ve just been named “Terrific Kid of the Year” by the United Nations)?
Which answers did you choose? If you’re smart, you chose to run the football at the other team’s weak spot and saw through the narrow spot in the wood. And, if you’re smart, you waited to ask your parents for money at a time when their power of resistance would be weakest (but don’t tell your parents we told you that!).
Well, guess what—the devil isn’t dumb, either. He isn’t going to tempt you much at your strongest points; he’s going to tempt you to do wrong when you are weak. That’s what he did with Jesus. Jesus was hungry and probably lonely and maybe even tired when the devil came to him in the wilderness (Matthew 4). That’s why the devil tempted him with food. And approval. And ease.
So watch out, because he’ll do the same thing with you. Temptation to do wrong will usually come when you are weak. So be prepared. Be aware. And be ready to depend even more on God’s strength when you’re weak.
REFLECT: Think about recent times when you’ve made a wrong choice. Did you make that choice at a time of weakness (when you were lonely, tired, disappointed, etc.)? At what times are you “weak”? Do you struggle more with being lonely? tired? hungry? something else? How do you think you can prepare for those weak times so you don’t give in to temptation?
PRAY: “Jesus, you resisted temptation when you were weak. Please help me to remember to be especially careful when I am weak. Please help me depend on your strength when temptation comes.”