I've always been amazed at that verse in Luke 4 where Jesus encountered Satan in that temptation experience. You remember Jesus had been forty days without food. There is no doubt that hunger was very real at the moment. You recall Satan said "Since you're the Son of God [no doubt in his mind about that fact] command this stone that it be made bread."
I think we are all honest enough to admit that wouldn't be a temptation to us because we couldn't have accomplished that if our very life had depended on it. But He could. After all He is the Son Of God. It would be important for us to remember at this point that Jesus DID NOT do anything during those thirty-three years on earth in the power/authority of His Divine nature. He willingly laid aside that authority and lived as man submitted to the will/ purpose of the Father. He was truly our stand-in. This is why He responded in verse 4 that "it is written that MAN shall not live by bread alone but by every Word of God." He was man submitted to doing the will of the Father.
My point is that the temptation came at the very point of the greatest strength in the life of Jesus. Temptation comes at our point of strength...not our weakness...who would have thought? I've aways been so sold on the idea that I've got to strengthen/guard where I'm weak because, if I don't, I'll wind up failing/falling in that area. Satan attacks me where I'm weak. Oh really? If pride comes before a fall then I must be proud of where I'm weak. No wait...pride is a possibility where I think I'm pretty good. Do you suppose we completely misunderstand this thing of temptation so that we guard our weaknesses but are vulnerable at our strength for the very fact that we don't think we'll fall there?
Add to this equation the seemingly overwhelming numbers of failures of ministers today at the points where they are teaching the most, as a Jim Baker who could raise money out of scarecrows, and fall because of greed. Or a Jimmy Swaggert who was strong in condemning those who are immoral. Enough said. Or a Gordan MacDonald who wrote the finest book on marriage I have in my library and failed in his marriage vow. By the way, I wouldn't even mention these men were their failure not public in nature. And even with that said...I do not in any way judge/condemn them at all. They are not my servants after all. They are my brothers.
We certainly could go to those in scripture who failed too. Peter, a man of extreme courage, remember how he charged that large group at the arrest of Jesus sword in hand, failed hours later fearful of being identified as a follower. Or Moses who was obedient enough, after being taught by his mother of God's plan for him, to choose to suffer the reproach of Israel rather than enjoy the pleasures of Egypt. Yet disobediently struck that rock the second time rather than speaking to it as commanded. Or David, a man whose heart was after God, in a moment of passion, gave his heart to another.
Add all this to that Luke 4 passage and we may be getting a picture that one would be wise to ask a friend this question. "What is my greatest strength?" Then, be open to the fact it could be at this point the enemy will gain a foothold in my life.
The answer to that question may be..."You're strong in doctrinal purity and Truth" or "You're strong in mercy" or " You're strong in the family" or "You're strong in honesty" or...you get the idea. For the first, they may fail because someone disagrees with a minor doctrine or not say a Truth the same way [inerrancy] and the doctrinally strong one will separate because of pride in a position. For the second, they may need to stand for a truth at some point but for fear of hurting someone they capitulate. For the third, they maybe see a son or daughter divorce or a daughter get pregnant and cannot find it in them to embrace those/ that one in love and acceptance for the life of them. It would be [in their minds at least] a capitulation in standards for family life. For the last one, they may fail to report a gift to the government or twist a word or phrase to cover a mistake. The whole point is that failure comes because our eyes are tightly shut to our vulnerability at the point of strengths. We would never fail BECAUSE of our strength there...but we do. It is, after all, His strength that is made real in our weakness but, in Kingdom living our greatest weakness IS our strength, we just don't seem to get that fact down well.
May God never allow me to write something to anyone else without applying it to my own life first. I think I'll ask Mary, my wife, what she thinks my strengths are. She knows me better than anyone else and loves me enough to tell me the truth.