Coaches spend countless hours in the film room trying to determine the weakness of an opponent. Similarly, generals look at places where the enemy's line may be vulnerable in order to attack and gain the victory.
For followers of Jesus, there is an enemy of our soul. Like good coaches and generals, he carefully examines all our lives. He probes areas of weakness and vulnerabilities. Ceaselessly, he tries to find an area where he can entrap us.
But first he must find the weakness. For the Biblical character Samson, it was women. From his earliest days until well into his forties, he was susceptible to women. The evil one knew it. That's why he kept bringing godless, beautiful women into his life.
Eventually, the last one, Delilah, was his undoing. Her wiles entrapped him. Eventually it led to his death.
We would all do well to spend some time identifying our weaknesses. We need to know them. How? Here's one idea: be quiet for a couple of hours. To where do your thoughts go? To where do they wander? What's the subject, pictures, thoughts and words that continually come to your mind? That's probably your idol in life. It's probably your area of weakness.
What's next? Pray how Jesus taught his disciples to pray, "Lead us not into temptation." In other words, we are to pray, "Holy Spirit, lead us away, every day, every minute, from our weaknesses. Lead us away from all temptation." Then steadfastly refuse to go near any place or person who tempts your weaknesses. If Samson had done so, I think he would have remained a strong man after God's heart for all his life.
My Dad used to tell me that this is God's way of "nipping our problems in the bud." He's right. It shores up our weaknesses. It strengthens our vulnerabilities. It stops the entrapment before it ever has a chance to ensnare us.
In great frustration, the evil one then has to continue to struggle to try and find another weakness. How fun it is for the believer in Jesus to imagine the enemy of our soul frustrated to defeat us!
Yes, the battle will always continue, until death. Our enemy hates us. But you now have the means of victory over all his wiles and temptations.
The victory is yours.
If you like to read the insights from the daily Bible reading in Mark, please click here.