I was thinking this morning about 'survival mode.' We have all been there. You do the next thing because you must. The bills have to get paid or some other pressing necessity is involved. You would like to give more or function in a compassionate mode but fight or flight is happening in your body and adrenaline dulls those higher functions.
But, Anyone who has suffered in a life of necessity then appreciates what others go through who are living there. In more prosperous days or hours compassion does flood in and we choose what or where to use our abundance.
That thought brought me to Jesus being led off alone into the desert to fast 40 days and be tempted by the devil. Really, God sent Jesus out as a lamb among wolves.
"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came" - Matthew 4:1-3a ESV
Jesus had done this on purpose. It was almost like God was baiting the Devil dangling a tender morsel in front of him that he could not refuse and he took the bait and proceeded to come at Christ but Jesus deflected each initiation with the word of God.
Finally the Devil exhausting all options shows his hand in one last offer.
"Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, 'All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.' Then Jesus said to him, 'Be gone, Satan! For it is written,'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'' Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him." - Matthew 4:8-11 ESV
Then after this very human victory felt in the weakness of His humanity we see Jesus begin a powerful compassionate ministry. He had faced the weakness and the warfare that men everywhere face but like everything He did... He did it without sin.
Part of the problem we have as people is the overwhelming driving desire to save our lives. Circumstances become a platform to pull us. Faith is often the place where we lose our life to gain God's life and God is going to draw us into things if we submit to Him and it is those places we may first get weaker and tested but before long angels come to minister to us.
Jesus willingly weakened Himself but that poor state brought Him to a rich abundant state. He died at a cross but was raised in a garden. Fruitful faith functions in this realm. It is beyond talk and words. It misses meals with eyes open relying on grace and mercy. They are not fall back options. They are what sustains us when we walk by faith. But, We learn that they truly are durable and our enemy it helpless against the sword of the word of grace. We can then minister from our abundance.