|Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. –Psalm 19:12
We had a youth forum at my Church over the weekend, and the theme for the day was “Being a young Christian in such a secular world.” As expected the main topic we focused on was temptation and how to deal with them. Many people gave personal testimonies of the different kinds of temptations they faced and tips on how to deal with them. As everyone was speaking, I thought about Joseph and David. These were two different men that faced similar temptations. Joseph was considered to be a weakling (physically), he was very intelligent, but he was not even able to physically defend himself from his brothers when they sold him into slavery. David on the other hand was a warrior. He killed a Goliath, a huge giant, he was the leader of an army that was almost undefeated, and he could hold his own against physical attacks.
When faced with temptation from women, Joseph with Potiphar’s wife and David with Bathsheba, David recognized that he had an undetected weakness, but it was after he already fell into sin. David on the other hand, through the work of God had realized that he had a weakness, so he was prepared for temptation and he escaped sin. Do you see the difference between these two men?
Just like David and Joseph, we all have hidden weaknesses and faults, but only a few recognize them before they fall into sin like Joseph did. We are all given chances and opportunities to recognize these weaknesses, but we often ignore them because we think of ourselves to be stronger than we really are. If you are one of those people that think that because they are born again, they can’t possibly fall into the sins that people of the world fall into; you are in for a rude awakening. So how do you recognize your weakness you ask?
Be humble! Don’t think of yourself or your spirituality more highly than you should; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I used to think that because I was involved in different ministries, I could overcome almost every temptation, but the more I allowed myself to think like that, the easier it became for me to fall. I let my guard down and by so doing, gave the devil a foothold. Now I try to think that I could fall into temptation at any time, so I always have my guard up. Whenever I start to get discouraged, I just think of Joseph and David.
Take hold of the power of God and the strength of His word, and use that to build yourself up spiritually. Guard your spirit very dearly and don’t give Satan any room to move in on your territory. Train yourself to recognize the voice of your spirit man and be quick to heed to his instructions. Don’t focus so much on doing outwardly, that you ignore what matters the most, the spirit inside.
David was a strong man that lived most of his life doing for God and God loved him dearly for this. Joseph was a man that lived most of his life depending on God through the power of the Spirit within him, and God loved him for this. They faced the same temptation, they reacted differently, and they got different outcomes. Joseph escaped, David fell, he repented, and he paid, God loved them both for this. The main difference between these men was the David had to fall to recognize his weakness, while Joseph’s “negative” experiences helped him recognize his.
Do you have an undetected weakness that could lead you to fall into sin? Talk to God and let him help you detect it. Depend on the spirit of God within you, and your weaknesses will become more apparent to you. If you have fallen and have paid like David did, take heart, God is willing to give you a second chance if you are willing to take it. You may have to work harder, but with His strength, you CAN overcome.
Stay blessed and spread the word.