The Hall of Faith passage as it is known in some circles. Hebrews 11 chronicles some of the great people who had faith in God and were commended by Him for their faith, and considered it righteousness. There is a common theme that comes with having faith in God-great testing and great reward. No matter who you are, God will want to grow your faith in Him. And the best way to do that is to put it through “fire.” God knows that Satan will come alongside us to try and draw us away from God. And God allows Satan to do that in order to help us to choose God and grow in our faith. See, there is a difference in what Satan offers and what God offers. This is found in Hebrews 11:24-26. There, the author writes:
“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”
A better representation of this and a better breakdown would look like this:
But God knows that the desires of our flesh will compete heavily with our desire to follow God. As Paul writes in Romans 7:19-20:
“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”
As you can see, Paul concludes this by saying that sin takes control if God is not in his heart or life. Every action is that he does not want to do is dictated by sin.
But there is hope. God has given us a model to follow after when sin and temptations come into our lives. It can be found in the temptations of Jesus himself. It is as follows:
- Man shall not live by bread alone, but by the Word of God: This doesn’t mean to forego physical food altogether, but rather that it isn’t just the body that needs nourishment, but the spirit needs food as well. But it can’t be fed with regular food. It can only be fed with the spiritual guidance that only comes from the Word of God.
- Do not test the Lord your God-at this point, Satan twists Scripture around to get Jesus to see if God would save him. But the Scripture that Satan uses, namely Psalm 91, is meant to show that God can be given our trust, to keep us from falling away and getting trapped in sin. We are to question God, since our questions can help us to get a better understanding of Him, but we cannot just test God simply because we have doubts about His power.
- You shall worship the Lord your God, and only Him shall you serve-it’s strange that this was last in the temptations of Jesus, as having God first in our hearts is essential to our faith, but I believe that this was last simply because it sums up our entire faith–our hearts should only belong to God and our faith should be in Him alone.
After all, if God isn’t first in our hearts, is our faith truly genuine?