Weights, Sins and Distractions

If you are like me, the further we go in our walk with God, the more intense the battle gets. If we are not pressing into Him and His Kingdom above all else, then there is no real battle. The closer we get to fulfilling His will on this earth, the more we experience major distractions, major roadblocks that try and detour us from our goal of fulfilling His will while on earth. Christ is our supreme example.

Our text is found in Hebrews chapter 12, verses 1-2.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

It starts off with the reference of the “witnesses” of faith, found in chapter 11. Witnesses such as “Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses etc. We are to consider their faith in this battle of faith. They all died in faith, but did not receive the promises that where told about in their day. They seen them “afar off”. They were “persuaded” by them. They “embraced” them.(11:13) This is faith! It is, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (11:1)

It is the same with us today. It still takes faith for us also who have received the promises. We are not of those who physically lived with Christ, so we must take Him by faith just as those who have gone before us, and the witnesses that are recorded in God’s word. It all takes faith.

Continuing on, applying it personally…..”let me lay aside every weight”. The word “weight” here means, “one, other”. We can read or understand this as, let me lay aside every one or other. This can be a person or persons. This can be a place or places. This can be a thing or things.

“and the sin” (or sins). Let me lay aside every weight, every sin.

“which so easily besets me”. Some translations use “ensnares” instead of “beset”. The word “beset” means, “a competitor, thwarting (as in a racer) in every direction. If we jump down to the end of this verse, we will notice that the writer of this is referring to a “race”. This is the race course of our life that is laid out before us.

So do we have a “competitor” or someone or something that is biding for our time? Someone or something that is trying to “thwart” us off the course that God has given us to run?

“and let me run with patience”. The word “patience” here means, “cheerful or hopeful”. It also means, “endurance, constancy, patient continuance (waiting). By God’s grace we can and need to run our race with “patience”.

“the race that is set before me”. The word “race” here means, “an effort, a fight”. This nails it right down. It takes effort, real effort to run this race. It is a real fight all the way. Like I said in the beginning, it gets tougher as we go. That is of course, if we are still doing God’s will here on the earth. It’s not enough just to be “saved”. You and I have a race to run. We have a God given course to run. Do we know personally what that course is? The course is God’s personal plan and purpose for your life. And like I have said on numerous occasions, “it’s more than eat, sleep, go to work and go to church on Sunday or Saturday”. It’s the life He has personally designed for you. It’s not our own choosing, our own making. We don’t (or should not) enter our “new life” by thinking or deciding that, “I think I will do this”, “I think I will do that”. This life should not be a “hit and miss” kind of life. It is not something to be treated haphazardly. He has gifted you with talents to be used for His Kingdom, His plan and purpose. It is up to us to make sure we know that we know, what this is.

“Looking unto Jesus, the author (Originator) and finisher (Perfecter) of my faith”. He is the ultimate One who we should be “looking to”. Too many are following man and his ideas and teachings. Dead religion follows the books of dead men and women that were meer flesh and bones like you and I. Yes, they may have been inspired, and their teachings having much good to benefit from, but we must stay with Jesus and his teachings. We cannot be deceived, or led astray if we will follow Him.

How did Jesus conquer the “cross?” How are we to conquer the “cross” that we bear?

“who for the joy that was set before him”. The word “joy” here means, “calm delight, calmly happy or well-off”. Christ had always the calm delight deep within as he faced the cross. As I have prayed, and am praying, “Father, give me the “Joy” that your Son had, to face the cross”. When we think of being joyful, do we think of being “calm?” What comes to my mind, is the flesh verses the Spirit. True joy is of the Spirit, and it is calm, peaceful. What is made out to be joy is often fleshly, hyper. A lot of times it just comes down to having had one too many “mocha’s”.

“endured the cross”. The word “endured” here means, “stay under, remain, undergo, bear, have fortitude, persevere, abide, suffer”. Wow! this hurts! I thought that once we come to Christ, it’s all good and easy. I thought we can now “enjoy our best life now”. Well, it’s certainly going to be way better than living a life of sin, which is death, but it now is going to have it’s cross to bear. As we go forward, He will show us things in our life that must go, if we are to reach our goal and finish the race laid out before us. And do it with “joy”. If Christ could not have bore the cross without it, what makes us think that we could?

“despising the shame”. The word “despising” here means, “to think against, ie, dis-esteem. Christ had to “think against” the shame of the cross. It was the ultimate of it’s day. Our cross may not be physical, but it still carries “shame” as far as the world sees it. Our “staying under”, our “suffering” for Him, is distasteful to the world. We will and should be suffering “shame” for bearing the cross of Christ. What about our own cross for which we should bear?

The word “shame” here means, “disgrace”. As we carry our cross, we will be “disgraced”. In this world, like in Christ’s time, it’s a disgrace to be cross-bearing. The world laughs. It makes fun of. It ridicules. How are you fairing? Do you notice?

“and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God”. This is Christ’s rightful place. If we finish our coarse, we too can have our place around the throne of God with Christ at the right hand. How awesome is that going to be! Just a few more days on this earth of pain, sorrow, hurt etc. then we can escape to a far better place.

Just like the Patriarchs before us…….. they “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from which they came out of, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Wherefore, God is not ashamed to be called  their God: for He has prepared for them a city.” (11:13-16)

Are you looking forward to “A CITY?” The CITY OF GOD? or is this earth your home? Do you truly want to leave here? Do you love it here? Can you truly say, “this earth is not my home. I’m just passing through”

God bless you as you go!

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