In these verses, we find the author, most likely the Apostle Paul, encouraging us to stay faithful to the faith, our belief system, and to whom our faith is founded upon – Jesus Christ. That same Jesus, whom we have our faith in, underwent temptation – the same temptation we go through – and he was able to weather the storms of temptation without sinning.
Paul continues to say, because of Christ’s understanding of temptation and struggle, that He is our “high priest” – our advocate – who not only understands but also sympathizes with us in our weakness. He invites us to his “throne of grace”…to receive mercy and find grace in the midst of our temptation.
Allow me to dig deep here for a moment:
I’m convinced that too often we focus on the subject of the temptation and ignore the root of temptation. Some would argue whether or not Jesus ever dealt with the temptation of ___________ (fill in the blank with some “verb or action”). We don’t know if Jesus ever dealt with the temptation to do drugs, look at pornography, steal, or fill in the blank with whatever sin you could imagine. What we do know though is that Jesus was tempted and that his temptation was less about the action of temptation and more about the heart underneath.
Notice a couple of realities when Satan came and tempted Jesus after his wilderness prayer retreat. Matthew 4
Remember temptation doesn’t just come to the weak.
Remember, you may have the “right”, but it doesn’t make it right.
Remember the temptation is deceitful, it won’t stop.
Remember the enemy wants your beliefs, not just your actions.
One of my favorite quotes is, “Every action is born out of a belief.” Hold tight to your beliefs.
Paul finishes the passage in Hebrews 4 stating that in the midst of our struggle with temptation we are to “draw near” to the throne room. Drawing near seems so anti what we are supposed to do. It wasn’t what Adam and Eve did when they fell to the temptation of the enemy. Remember? They both eat of the fruit they weren’t supposed to and God enters the garden, as he so often did, and they were hiding. Isn’t that what the enemy wants us to do when we fall? Run and hide. Run away from the one who can forgive us. Hide from the one who makes us pure again. The enemy of our soul is entirely more deceitful than we know.
Jesus says come. The Holy Spirit says come. The Father says come – draw near to my throne room where there is an abundance of grace and mercy for you.
So today, I encourage you to overcome the temptations in your life…..draw near and receive before the throne of grace and mercy.
About the Author
j. Taylor Choate
J. Taylor Choate is a gifted communicator with a passion for the Lord and His Church. He has earned his Bachelor of Arts in Church Leadership with a minor in Church Revitalization and Planting from Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), and is currently completing a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from SAGU. He shares his life with his wife Morgan and their daughter Matilda. Taylor serves as Treasurer of Refining Fire Ministries, and Bridge Community Church as the Associate Pastor.
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