When Your Strength Becomes Your Weakness
INTRODUCTION: In I Corinthians 10:12-13 we read,
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Here God gives a warning to those of us who may be doing well in our Christian lives. In some cases we may be doing better than others in certain areas. Here is the principle.
Be careful that in your STRENGTH you don't become WEAK. The Devil doesn't trip you up at the STRONGEST point of your life, but in your WEAKEST moment.
Have you noticed how some Bible characters had an outstanding characteristic, and then, in that very strong AREA for which they were known, they fell? They faltered by not heeding verse 12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
ABRAHAM: In Hebrews 11:8-11 we read that Abraham was known for his great FAITH. But he sinned at least two times in his life, because of a lack of faith.
In Genesis 12:10-20 he lied to Pharaoh because he did not believe God would protect him in Egypt. Twenty years later, we see in Genesis 20, that he also lied to Abimelech.
Abraham had enough faith to trust God to leave the Ur of the Chaldees, but he didn't have enough faith to trust God to take care of him in the midst of ADVERSITY. That sounds to me like Abraham’s outstanding trait failed him. Here was Abraham, a man of faith and a friend of God, yet HIS STRENGTH BECAME HIS WEAKNESS.
MOSES: Moses was a great leader and one of his strengths we read of in Numbers 12:3 was his MEEKNESS. However, when Moses stumbled and messed up, it was because of his hot temper. What did Moses actually do?
In Exodus 17:1-7 we read where there was no water in a place called Rephidim. Here, God instructed Moses to STRIKE the rock and out would come water for the people to drink. Moses obeyed by following God’s instructions.
However, there was another time mentioned in Number 20, when the people once again faced a waterless situation at a place called Meribah. This time God told Moses to SPEAK to the rock and it shall give forth water. Moses became angry with the people and out of that anger he struck the rock instead of speaking to it as God had given instruction. In Numbers 20:11-12 we read,
“And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. (12) And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”
Do you know why God said to Moses the first time to strike the rock and the second time to speak to the rock? In I Corinthians 10:4 we read, “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
The Bible says that ROCK was CHRIST. How many times was Christ to be smitten? He was to be smitten only one time for the whole world. The first time Moses was to strike the rock that he did. The second time the nation needed water, God told him to speak to the rock.
Now Jesus was smitten only one time on Calvary never to be smitten again. So Moses, in a fit of temper, smote the rock a second time, destroying one of God's pictures of the Savior. For that disobedience, Moses was not permitted to enter the promise land.
DAVID: In Acts 13:22 the Bible tells us “David was a man after God's own heart.” One of David's outstanding traits was his PURITY of heart and life. Yet David fell because of IMPURITY. The story is given to us in II Samuel 11. In a time of weakness, he let his eyes introduce thoughts of lustful wickedness and he fell into the sin of adultery with Bathsheba. HIS STRENGTH BECAME HIS WEAKNESS.
SOLOMON: In II Chronicles 1:7-12 Solomon's prayer and God's response to that prayer is written. Solomon started out with a WISE and TENDER heart. But after a while he submitted himself to ungodly influences through his 300 hundred ungodly wives and 700 concubines who lead him astray. As a result Solomon became greedy, self-centered and did some very unwise things. HIS STRENGTH OF UNSELFISH LEADERSHIP BECAME HIS WEAKNESS.
ELIJAH: If there's anything that stood out about Elijah, it was his COURAGE. The story is given to us in I Kings 17-19. Elijah stood toe-to-toe with King Ahab and said, "God is going to send a drought into the land at my word." Ahab came to him after the draught and said, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" Elijah said, "No, you're the one troubling Israel. You and your wicked sinfulness."
Then in I Kings 18, Elijah had a great standoff with 850 false prophets. The odds were 850-to-1, but he never blinked an eye at the odds. He challenged them to a dual on their home turf. You see, these men worshipped Baal, the sun god, the god of fire.
Elijah challenged then at the very heart of their religion for he said, "The God that answereth by fire, let Him be God." We know who won, the God of Heaven.
After Elijah’s great victory over the false prophets, this once courageous man took off like a scared rabbit and ran from a woman. Something snapped in Elijah to create his fear of Jezebel. HIS STRENGTH BECAME HIS WEAKNESS.
PETER: Peter’s outstanding trait was his holy BOLDNESS. He was a spokesman for the twelve disciples. Any time anybody had anything to say, Peter was first to put in his two cents. He was bold to speak and to speak up for the Lord.
On one occasion Jesus asks "Who do men say that I am?" It was Peter who answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
On another occasion Peter said to the Lord, "Though all men forsake thee, yet will I never."
Now, isn't it strange that the one who was bold in speaking for the Lord would come to a place that he CURSED and SWORE and DENIED the Lord? HIS STRENGTH BECAME HIS WEAKNESS.
We have just looked at six Bible Characters, all of them heroes of the faith. All of these men had an outstanding characteristic. However, in their strength the devil attacked them. Remember: SATAN WILL NOT ONLY ATTACK YOUR WEAKNESS; HE WILL ALSO ATTACK YOUR STRENGTH AT YOUR WEAKEST MOMENT.
Listen carefully, "WHATEVER AREA YOU'RE STRONG IN IS THE AREA OF YOUR INFLUENCE ON OTHERS. IT IS IN THAT AREA YOU ARE A LEADER." That's why the Devil likes to attack you in that area. When he knocks us down in that area, it destroys our influence for good. If I'm known for purity and I fall into impurity, it destroys my influence to promote purity.
When your strength becomes your weakness, it puts a question mark in everyone’s mind that you have been compromised. THAT QUESTION MARK ROBS GOD OF THE GLORY DUE HIM, BECAUSE HE IS THE ONE WHO GAVE YOU THE STRENGTH IN THAT AREA.
Don't forget the Devil came into the Garden of Eden and ruined the best situation that mankind has ever known. He didn't come into a bad situation. Rather he came into the best and ruined it.
Don't forget the Devil came to one of the best men there ever was. Who might that be? It was Job. We read in the Bible that Job was a man that feared God and eschewed evil. The Devil came to the best Christian then on the face of the earth, not the worst, and tried to cause Him to fall. But thank God, Job didn't fumble the ball.
Don’t forget in Matthew 4 the Devil had the audacity to approach the Son of God and try to get him to fall during a time of physical weakness after Jesus had gone 40 days without food. He attempted to cause God in the flesh to sin. Now if the Devil had the boldness to tempt the Son of God, you can rest assured he's going to come against you and FACE YOU IN YOUR STRENGTH.
Now, during your time of TEMPTATION, when your STRENGTH may become your WEAKNESS, let me leave you with three statements to help.
FIRST: Your strength becomes your weakness when you take it for granted. Because you are strong in a certain area, you just take it for granted that you'll never fall. BE CAREFULL, YOUR PRIDE MAY GET THE BEST OF YOU. Proverbs 16:18 tells us, "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
Your strength becomes your weakness when you overlook it, when you don't recognize that your real source of strength comes from the Lord. You slip and your strength becomes your weakness when you fail to give GOD THE GLORY for what he has given to you. PRIDE TAKES THINGS FOR GRANTED AND LOSES THEM.
Look at SAMSON. He had the mighty power of God. When the Spirit of God was upon Samson, he did mighty acts. But that strength was not Samson’s strength, it was the Spirit of God working through Samson.
As a result Samson took God for granted and began to live a wicked and adulterous life. He thought he was the source of that strength and got cocky about it. HE TOOK HIS SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH FOR GRANTED AND LOST IT.
SECOND: Your strength becomes your weakness when you neglect it.
Now listen carefully, “Sometimes, we get to a certain place and we look at everybody else and think: Well, they need to be careful, BUT NOT ME. I’VE ALREADY ARRIVED.” We neglect to work at it.
LISTEN carefully, I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR STRONG POINT IS, YOU’RE NOT BEYOND SIN. You have not arrived at perfection in the Christina life. You still have room for growth. Even in your strength, you're weak. Neither you nor I will ever be complete till we get to heaven.
If I am going to be a good Christian, I'll have to work at it. It doesn't matter what I was six months ago. If I'm going to be a good Christian today, I'LL HAVE TO WORK AT IT TODAY LIKE I DID YESTERDAY! The danger is that we begin to measure ourselves by ourselves.
May I remind you: we can compare ourselves with ourselves, and we can compare ourselves with others, but when we compare ourselves to Jesus, we find we have still come up short.
II Peter 3:18 tells us "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
When you don’t think there is any higher ground, that’s when you become a candidate for a spiritual failure.
When you stop growing, you start dying. Your strength has become your weakness, because you stopped moving ONWARD, FORWARD, UPWARD. You still have plenty of room to grow.
THIRD: Your strength becomes your weakness when you think you're immune to danger. In I Peter 5:9, we read, "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
You have seen this as well as I have. Some guy in a boxing match is just beating the daylights out of his opponent, but then becomes cocky, and finally ends up losing. Do you know what his problem was? He got to the place where he didn't have any respect for his opponent. He thought he couldn't lose. He let his guard down.
I've seen Christians do the same thing. They get knocked out in the very area that once was their strength. THEY DIDN'T THINK THEY HAD TO BE SOBER AND VIGILANT. THEY DIDN'T KEEP THEIR GUARD UP! Your strength becomes your weakness when you think you can't fall.
It happened to Abraham. Are you a better Christian than he was?
It happened to Moses. Are you a better Christian than he was?
It happened to David. Are you a better Christian than he was?
It happened to Solomon. Are you a better Christian than he was?
It happened to Elijah. Are you a better Christian than he was?
It happened to Peter. Are you a better Christian than he was?
Are you a better Christian than these men were? Their strength became their weakness. DO YOU THINK YOUR STRENGTH CAN'T BECOME YOUR WEAKNESS?
Again in I Corinthians 10:11-13 we read, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. (12) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Thank God if he has given you a supernatural strength in an area.
Thank God for your growth in the Christian life.
However, be very careful when you start to achieve in any area. Whether it's PRAYER, SOUL WINNING, SEPARATION, PURITY or whatever it is that becomes a strong point in your life. THAT POINT CAN BECOME YOUR WEAKNESS. The warning was given to us, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon “When Your Strength Becomes Your Weakness,” right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31, “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to pdmikBBM@aol.com and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
Copy write permission: Because the “Weekly SERMON” will be reproduced into other formats, PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING: The “Weekly SERMON” in its original form, without any changes, may be copied and re-transmitted by electronic mail, and copies may be printed for individual or ministry purposes, provided that such copying, re-transmission, printing, or other use is not for profit or other commercial purpose. Any copying, re-transmission, distribution, printing, or other use of the “Weekly SERMON” must set forth in full the heading that is given before each “Weekly SERMON.” Any other request for use, please contact Bible Baptist Ministries at pdmikBBM@aol.com or by phone at 570.829.5216.
In His Amazing Grace,
PS: In order to access the Weekly SERMON, in various FORMATS please SUBSCRIBE to our weekly email list at https://theweeklysermon.com/subscribe-or-unsubscribe/ where SUBSCRIBERS ONLY have access to the link to Weekly Sermon Library, SUBSCRIBERS can choose: Plain Text (TXT), Microsoft Word document (DOC), Rich Text (RTF), Web Page (HTML) or PDF (Portable Document Format), any of the format(s) you desire. After you decide on the appropriate format(s) you may then print a copy of the Weekly SERMON, save it to a file on your computer, or download it and save it to a disk for future use. SUBSCRIBERS use of this material is meant to be flexible: UNSUBSCRIBING is easy, just follow the same link above..