In no way can we — in what we say, think, do, and are — resist every temptation perfectly. Only Christ was able to achieve such an end. And he is the means to that end for us.
As we read the famous recounting of Jesus’ temptation in Matthew’s gospel (4:1-11), we can’t help be struck by the fact of Jesus’ reliance — he relies on the Word in diligent service of the Father.
That’s our task; to be of diligent service to the Father. We rely on Jesus, our Mediator before the Father, to do that very thing, by the Presence of the Holy Spirit impelling us forward.
Jesus always operates principally through the Word. He is the Word. But his power comes channelled via the Holy Spirit. And when we bring the invocation for the Spirit to bear through his Word — the Bible — we find that we have our foundation for power, through poverty, meekness, humility, and fatigue — in sum, weakness.
The Revelation of Temptation In the Mode of Weakness
The Holy Spirit can help us know we need him because of our temptation.
When we are weak, we are closer to the revelation of temptation — Jesus is trying to tell us we are close to the line of disobedient offence. The Holy Spirit is trying to pique our conscience toward action. That’s power! Add to this power of awareness, the power of faith. Then add to the power of faith the power of an insistent peace.
That is, the choice to be at peace!
We cannot do that of our own volition or will. We can only achieve such a thing as the experience of peace by rejecting the desire to covet such a thing. If we ardently wish for it, and, are prepared to do anything to obey Christ to get there, we will have it.
A fine line is this: the bearing of weakness without succumbing to it. What a balance!
We only know the help of God when we are pressed in by temptation — when we perceive testing. It’s only then that we rely. We must not reject our weakness but embrace it.
In being tempted, whereby we rely, we show the work of the cross of Christ, the raising of Christ by the Father, and the power of the Spirit, in our lives.
It is good to be weak, for then — by Christ, the Father, and the Spirit — we are strong.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.