“Dad! Where are you?”
Soldiers fighting in a sweltering jungle many years ago encountered a frustrating problem. Without warning, a pervasive prickly vine would attach itself to the soldiers’ bodies and gear, causing them to be trapped. As they struggled to get free, even more of the plant’s tentacles entangled them. The soldiers dubbed the weed the “wait-a-minute” vine because, once entwined and unable to move forward, they were forced to shout out to other members of their team, “Hey, wait a minute, I’m stuck!”
In a similar way, it’s hard for followers of Jesus to move forward when we’re ensnared by sin. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” and “run with perseverance.” But how do we throw off the sin weighing us down?
Jesus is the only one who can free us from pervasive sin in our lives. May we learn to fix our eyes on Him, our Savior (12:2). Because the Son of God became “fully human in every way,” He knows what it’s like to be tempted—yet not sin (2:17–18; 4:15). Alone, we may be desperately entwined by our own sin, but God wants us to overcome temptation. It’s not through our own strength, but His, that we can “throw off” entangling sin and run after His righteousness (1 Corinthians 10:13).
What sin or sins have a strong hold on you? What can you do to gain freedom from the struggle you’re experiencing?
Hebrews 2:18 gives us great insight into the life of Jesus: “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” When we think of Christ’s temptation, we think of His time in the wilderness (see Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4). When Satan attempts to turn Him away from His mission, Jesus combats the tempter with Scripture. This confrontation shows us that knowing Scripture and relying on God enables us to stand firm in the face of temptation. Jesus felt the allure of temptation in the same way we do, and because of that, He’s able to help us in our weakness.