Judges chapters 13-16 remind us that you could be the strongest person in the world, but have a weakness that you need to overcome! There we read of Samson, the strongest person in the world, who had a fatal weakness, his fleshly passions, especially his sexual passion. We see that it led him into extremely unhealthy and fatal relationships which ultimately led to his being bound and blinded. He had great promise as a deliverer and leader, but never fully realized it due to his weakness.
What is a weakness? It is some area of our life where we are not strong. It is some tendency, habit, character flaw, addiction that not only is not helpful to us but hurts us or hinders us in some way. It may also hurt others as well. It is an area where we are not controlling or managing something like we should.
And we need to know that sometimes others might try to take advantage of our weakness for their purposes.
Also the devil for sure will try to use our weaknesses against us to hurt us, to hold us back, to limit our effectiveness for God. It will show up as a weakness in our spiritual armor.
We saw that in Samson's life.
What are some examples of weaknesses?
Someone might have trouble controlling their eating, either eating too much or eating the wrong foods which are bad for them.
Someone might have trouble controlling their time. They might procrastinate on the important things and instead do the easy, lesser important things. Or they are wasting time. Or they are always late.
Someone might have trouble controlling their money. They are overspending, living above their means, having trouble with essentials and spending money on non-essentials.
Someone might have trouble controlling their sexual passions. They are struggling with sexual lust. Maybe have a sin struggle like pornography or going to prostitutes or calling phone numbers they shouldnt.
Someone might have trouble controlling their speech. They say things that hurt themselves and hurt others. They say things which get themselves into trouble.
Someone might have trouble controlling anger in their life. They get angry easily and blow up or smolder in anger.
Someone might have trouble controlling their thought life and think bad thoughts.
Someone might get discouraged or get depressed about things and it hangs like a cloud over their life..
Someone might be discontented in some area of their life, maybe a single wanting badly to get married, or a married person getting disillusioned in their marriage and looking elsewhere.
Someone might have an addiction like smoking or chewing, or drugs.
When someone has a weakness or sin struggle they might react in a number of ways.
They might be oblivious to it. They might be weak in seeing their weakness.
They might explain it away.
They might justify it.
They might blame someone else or something else for it.
You can't blame your way into a better future (Andy Stanley)
They might want to overcome it but don't know how or are discouraged in overcoming it.
Incidentally how should we react to others we care about with a weakness?
- Don't make fun of their weakness.
- Don't condemn them or put them down.
- Don't look down on them as if they shouldn't have any struggle with that.
- Don't nag them about it. Nagging never helps.
- Instead pray for them. Pray that God empower them to overcome it.
- As the opportunity presents itself, confront them about it and ask them to pray about it (if they are a believer in Yeshua also).
- If we know of something that could help them overcome it, then offer that to them.
- Now assuming it is not a weakness that endangers us and others, if they're not open right then, then pull back and let God work in their heart about it. Trying to push them to change might only make them more resistant.
How to overcome a weakness?
- Realize we have a weakness.
Someone well said: Knowing your weaknesses are as important as knowing your strengths.
"Deny your weakness, and you will never realize God's strength in you." - Joni Eareckson Tada (Christian quotes)
2. Admit to ourselves and to God that we have a weakness and we want to overcome it.
Realize that weakness is not who we are. It is what we are doing or not doing.
We can never overcome a weakness until we really want it to stop. If we only kind of want it to be overcome, then we won't overcome it.
3. Ask God to overcome this weakness in our lives. Ask Him to show us how to overcome it and trust Him to overcome it in our lives.
The key is to realize that we need God's power to overcome a weakness. In fact, we need Yeshua (or Jesus') power in our lives to do that. That is a benefit that comes from following Messiah Yeshua.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. (Psalm 118:14; Isaiah 12:2; Exodus 15:2a)
Paul said in Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me. If you have Messiah Yeshua in your life, then you can overcome any weakness in your life.
'Remember, it is not your weakness that will get in the way of God's working through
you, but your delusions of strength. His strength is made perfect in our weakness! Point to His
strength by being willing to admit your weakness.' ~ Paul David Tripp, Pastor
4. Ask God for insight why we have this weakness. What is behind it?
Psalm 105:4 4 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.
Remember, there is a reason why we have this weakness. Maybe we got into some bad habits and our flesh is used to reacting in the wrong way. Knowing why helps us see the solution to it.
5. Confess our weakness to God and ask His forgiveness for any sin related to the weakness. When you get down to it, most weaknesses are sins in themselves, so confess them to God and ask His forgiveness for giving into them.
6. Repent of giving into our weakness. Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action. Verbally say out loud what we are going to do instead of giving into that weakness like we have in the past.
7. Look to God and other godly people for insight how to overcome such a weakness.
8. Plan ahead how we are going to react differently when tempted with that weakness.
9. Be accountable in some way to change. If we can't stop it on our own, then get a friend or family member or support group to hold us accountable to change.
10. Be encouraged when we make progress. Reward ourselves for progress. And leverage our strengths to keep encouraging us too.
11. If necessary, outsource our weakness. If our spouse or a colleague can compensate for our weakness in the meantime, then do that.
Thanks be to God Who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah! (1 Corinthians 15:57) Trust Yeshua as your Messiah and Lord, and seek to be strong in Him!