2 Corinthians 12:5-6 “Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.”
Have you ever noticed that when you have something that is vulnerable the enemy attempts to exploit it? I know personally these are the areas I tend to be attacked in and likewise the places in my life that need to be reinforced.
This vulnerability reminds me of the last time I smashed my finger. I was working on a project and smashed it with a board, (on accident of course). It seemed that for the next week and a half, every move I made caused me to hit that finger. The pain would surge through my hand with every misplaced movement, with every bump into the wall or putting on a shoe, I was constantly reminded of its sensitivity. I wondered if I struck it more often before or after the injury, at any rate it became more apparent afterwards.
It seems, when I allow an area of my life to be exposed to sin, or if I’m not allowing the Spirit of God to bring a point of weakness into subjection to His will, I leave myself in a position for attack. It seems, the more of a weakness I have, the more attacks I have in the area of that weakness. I’ve had many such vulnerabilities through the years and the times where I hear God speaking to me and I don’t submit to His lead, are the areas where I fall.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
How can we be vulnerable if we are equipped with the full armor of God?
The attacks by the enemy are coordinated and they are consistent. If we forget that there is a spiritual war going on all around us, we will have the misfortune of lowering our shields of faith and exposing ourselves to the onslaught of the relentless enemy of our souls.
The area of attack is nearly always at an opponent’s weakness. Exploit the weaknesses and you can then reduce their strength. Reduce their strength and you expose them to other areas they thought they were strong in.
What are your weaknesses?
Personally, I have had a bad habit of trying to get out of traffic as quickly as I can. This has led me into many moments of impatient waiting, frustration with slow drivers or bikers, and losing my temper. I have to remember my weakness every time I get behind the wheel and if that means leaving a littler earlier than I anticipated, focusing more on the trip than on the time, or considering others around me and not causing them to stumble then the trip becomes a blessing and not a curse. I know that impatience is a weakness and the Lord has made it clear that He wants me to be patient, I have to keep this in mind in whatever I do.
Jesus was not immune to attack, even though He is God incarnate, He took on flesh and all of the vulnerabilities of the flesh.
Hebrews 5:2 “He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.”
Because we have a great High Priest who can relate to our wrestling with flesh and blood, His compassions toward us are new every morning. Because He is so patient with me, I can rejoice and sing—great is His faithfulness.
We must recognize when we fail and repentance is the recourse of humility.
I have several beloved brothers in Christ, locally and in other countries and occasionally they will say I show some attributes of humility. Whenever I hear this I think to myself, “Am I really humble?”, “Do I live in humility or is it just a front?” If I am truly humble, its only because I have failed so many times. You can only make so many mistakes before you realize your not as impressive as you think you are! I suppose when I recognize how vulnerable I am, humility is what follows.
I know my weaknesses and I know what the Lord has been working in me. He spoke to me the other day and He showed me an area He has been trying to strengthen in me for quite some time, I recognize now this has been an area I haven’t been obedient in.
When I don’t submit to God’s correction, I give rise to the enemy exploiting in these areas of disobedience.
Ephesians 4:25-32 “Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”
When I lose my temper and sin, I give the enemy a foothold. If I live dishonestly or speak with corrupt words I leave myself vulnerable to other attacks. These exhortations are given not just as a form of encouragement but as a solemn reminder of how to either live victoriously or in constant defeat.
Do you get tired of constantly going to God in repentance?
I know I sure do. I know that the more victoriously I live, the more joy I have, the closer I feel in my walk with Christ, the more fruit I seem to bear spiritually—– these are all the product of gaining the upper hand in this spiritual war that is waged against us.
Ezekiel 34:27 “The trees will bear fruit, the fields will produce crops, and everyone will live in safety on his own land. When I break my people’s chains and set them free from those who made them slaves, then they will know that I am the LORD.”
How long have you been wrestling with that one big area of weakness that continuously beats you down?
The chains that have been holding you in captivity to this weakness are easily broken by the strength of God’s mighty hand.
You will witness God’s power when you submit to His authority in your life. We typically know the course we have to take, we just have not been willing to take it. There is freedom waiting for you on the other side.
Psalm 118:5 “In my distress I called to the LORD, and He answered and set me free.”
If the path has been too difficult, if your journey continues to pull you off His straight and narrow way and you think you just can’t endure….change your approach!
It has been said the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome. If your approach in an area of weakness has been to just ‘try harder’, and it has failed time and time again, its time to approach it in a different way.
Isaiah 58:6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?”
Read for yourself the entire chapter of Isaiah 58. Fasting is a process that takes the flesh and submits it to the Spirit. If you have a chain that cannot be broken by sheer will, attack it spiritually. It is not just depriving your body of food, it is walking in righteousness.
Allow a brother or sister to hold you accountable, change your routine where you can spend more time in the Word, more time on your knees, and less time pleasing the flesh. Couple these actions with a period of fasting and you are well on your way to freedom.
We can either allow our vulnerabilities to get the best of us, or we can shore up the armor of God and march into battle triumphantly. Don’t allow the enemy to keep knocking you down, you are a child of the King—Live Victoriously!