Read Hebrews 4:14–16; 5:1–10
Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.Matthew 4:10
In his book The Jesus Way, Eugene Peterson considers both the ways and means of God.What God wants to accomplish is important, buthow He wants to accomplish it is important too. “There are wrong ways to be on the ‘way of the Lord.’ The wilderness provides the place and time to clarify what is involved.”
Jesus’ wilderness temptation helps us to see where our own temptations take root. We’re lured to mistrust that God will provide for our most basic needs. We’re tempted to secure our identity apart from God. The third temptation Jesus faced—to secure His kingdom by worshiping Satan—reveals how we can be inclined to pursue God’s priorities by corrupt means.
In our reading from Hebrews, we have a picture of what it looks like to submit to the Father’s will. Jesus did not assume glory for Himself. Although He was God’s Son, He did not assume an attitude of entitlement. Instead, He assumed a posture of humility. He gave reverence to the Father. He bent to the Father’s will. He was obedient to God’s most difficult and demanding purpose—the cross—which would produce His own suffering. Obedience was an expression of His worship.
This example of submission during suffering is exactly the example the Hebrews needed to imitate. Their faith, assailed by persecution, was particularly fragile, and the writer of Hebrews encourages them to hold on!
Although temptation and difficulty can drive us far from God either because we’re entertaining the allure of sin or rehearsing our disappointments with God, they can also drive us toward Him if we let them. At the throne is seated the One who is sympathetic to weaknesses, and nothing we can say to Him will shock or surprise Him.
Apply the Word
Coming clean with God—speaking to Him honestly and directly in prayer about our raw disappointments, our paralyzing fears, and our corrupt desires isn’t easy. We may even wonder if it’s irreverent. But God welcomes authenticity in prayer. It may be the very thing that allows us to approach the throne of grace with confidence and find the help we need.
Pray with Us
For those who are searching for a home for Betel. We thank God for her knowledge, skills, and professionalism.