Several years from now, if you were to discover that you had wandered from Christ, what sin do you think will most likely have caused you to drift away spiritually? That’s a question that I’ve been asking myself and others close to me lately after having recently re-read Matthew 4:1-11. In this passage we read about a famous encounter between Jesus and Satan in the desert. If you remember the story, you know that Satan appeared to Jesus after he had gone through 40 days of fasting. In this weak moment, Satan tempted Jesus to turn stone to bread, jump off the highest point of the temple, and bow down and worship him. Of course there are many lessons to be learned from this encounter, but what struck me this last time that I read it is that I doubt that I will ever be tempted in quite the same way Jesus was. In other words, I never struggle with the temptation to turn a pile of rocks into my dinner. My point is that all three of those temptations were specific to Jesus. The specific temptations that he faced are different than the ones that I face.

When Satan tempts us, he does it in a way that is specific to our weaknesses. What is a temptation for you may or may not be a temptation for your spouse, friend, or roommate. Satan aims at our soft spots. He targets areas in our life in which we are particularly susceptible.

So that’s why I think that we should ask ourselves what areas of our life are most open to attack? What issues do we struggle with? What sin(s) do we find most enticing? Because we can be sure that Satan and his demonic forces know the answer to that question and are plotting against us.

Think about it like this. A great football coach knows not only his team’s strengths but also its weaknesses. More than just knowing the team’s weaknesses, the coach works relentlessly to make sure that those weaknesses aren’t left exposed to the opponent. A coach wouldn’t last long in any league if he wasn’t aware of where his team was most susceptible to being defeated. Once you know the weaknesses then you can prepare the team in the best way possible. In a similar way, we must know our spiritual weaknesses-the areas of our life that we are most spiritually vulnerable. It’s only then that we can be spiritually prepared.

And if we think a coach would be irresponsible for not knowing his team’s weaknesses, how much more irresponsible would we be for not knowing our spiritual weaknesses. A verse that I’m finding helpful is…

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts

See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

You might consider joining me in using these verses as a way to ask God to show you where you are most vulnerable to spiritual attack. It’s the first step to being spiritually prepared to face the schemes of your spiritual enemy.

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