Very often, we set out to do something good, something great for God and for ourselves, and we realize that while we’re at it, we start facing challenges. And very often, these challenges don’t seem like they have anything to do with what we’ve set out to do.
Do not be surprised. Because you need to know this. Your most vulnerable spot – your weakness – is not a secret.
The enemy knows what it is, and you cannot stop him from knowing.
You can’t hide it, shy away from it. You cannot fight it.
We all have our weaknesses – that one thing, if touched, will threaten to shut us down. It discourages us, makes us feel small, reminds us that we can’t move ahead and simply yells out that we’re not going to win this round and we are insignificant.
The apostle Peter’s weakness was wanting to be the go-to disciple. Remember when he basically told Jesus, “I don’t know about the rest of these guys, who You call Your disciples, but me? Man, Jesus, me, you can trust. I’m going to be with You no matter what, and guess what? I’m ever ready to die with You”
And the enemy knew. In less than a few hours, Peter denied ever knowing Jesus not once, but thrice.
It shattered Peter, to the point where he wept bitterly and went back to doing the only thing he knew, the only thing he thought he was good for – fishing (which by the way, he failed at miserably).
Samson’s weakness was women, David’s weakness was his lust, Noah’s weakness was his drunkenness, and I can go on and on.
Buddy, Peter is not alone. He has you and I for company.
We have our weaknesses, and the enemy knows.
For some of us it’s something as simple as an allergic reaction to bee stings, where the enemy says, ‘Oh, you’re going to try praying for people in that city? Well, I’m just going to disturb a bee hive right when you get there’
(That actually happened to people I know by the way)
For some of you, it’s a disease. Ever heard of powerful men and women of prayer suddenly being struck by cancer? Yeah, I think that’s the enemy trying to take them down, to make them weak and ineffective for God’s purposes.
For some, it’s even persecution that the enemy tries to use. They start doing something for God, and people start abusing them, beating them up, throwing them in prison and what not.
Yet, for some of you, it’s something much closer to home.
For some of you, it’s your ego where the enemy attacks.
When you’re put in a position of influence and somebody comes and questions your decisions, or threatens your authority, or gets credit for something you worked hard for, or with the best intentions, starts altering your plans. And it starts hitting you.
“How dare he come into my place and start questioning my decisions?”
“Who is she to hurt MY plans for this organization? For this group? For this mission?”
Voices in your head telling you that, and you’re made ineffective for the things of God.
For some, it’s bitterness and unforgiveness, where someone has upset you and you just can’t seem to shake it off.
All day long the only thing you feel is hurt, and hatred towards that person. You can’t pray, because all you can think is, “how could he” or “how could she”. And when you can’t pray, you start becoming ineffective for what God has planned for you.
For some of you, it’s the fear that your children are walking towards a life that you don’t want them to live.
One mistake your child makes, and worry takes over you. And just like that, you can’t think about anything else – you’re made ineffective for the things of God.
For others, it’s depression and anxiety, and you’re made weak. It’s loneliness, the fear of loneliness, the fear of not finding love, or sometimes, it’s just one bad day.
The enemy knows exactly what our weakness is and that’s exactly where he’s going to hit us with full blinding force.
By now, you’re realizing all this is true. You’re starting to realize that the spaces that hold you back from being most useful for God are the ones that are constantly under attack when you try something new.
And I don’t know about you, but when I realized this, I was swept by an overwhelming feeling of shame and guilt – that the devil could use something as silly and petty as my pride, to ruin hours and days of my time, and make me useless for the great things that God has in store.
What bothered me the most was that my weakness was not death, or some horrible persecution, but was something as small as my own insecurity.
And if you’re with me, please…continue reading.
Because here’s some more news for you. No matter how big your weakness is, or no matter how small your weakness is, do not be dismayed.
Don’t stress that your weakness is so tiny that that’s all it takes for the devil to make you ineffective.
Don’t worry that your weakness is horrible and that the enemy knows it and is coming after you with it.
Because no matter what the weakness is, you are not going to beat it. You are going to lose.
You die and let God fight it.
The apostle Paul was shipwrecked, whipped, bitten by a snake, imprisoned, stripped of his clothes, betrayed and finally, beheaded (oh yeah, the enemy tried everything to stop him) and yet, he continued to be a powerful tool in God’s hand only because he knew he had died to himself, and it was Christ living in him.
Yes, he had his weakness, and yes, the enemy knew exactly what it was. He called it the thorn in the flesh and he PLEADED with God to take it away, and yet God’s response was this – “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.”
And that’s the same response we get, because it’s the same grace that we get.
It’s the same grace that Peter got, and he became a rock on which the church was built.
I’m going to end this post with a dream that my friend had. He said, in his dream, he was standing in a house, and there was a hurricane outside – trying to destroy everything, trying to pull him out and rip him apart.
And he almost flew towards it.
But he survived, because he held on to the door of the house, and the hurricane could not pull him away.
It reminded me of this song by Switchfoot, the lyrics of which I’m posting here –
You’re not enough
You can’t silence my love
I’ve got doors and windows boarded up
All your dead end fury is not enough
You can’t silence my love
Everything I have I count as loss
Everything I have is stripped away
Before I started building
I counted up these costs
There’s nothing left for you to take away
Stay in the house, hold on to the door that is Christ, and know that everything else you have, you can count as loss in comparison to Him, and nothing will be able to silence your love.