Daily Devotional: Day 201
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1, KJV).
Christianity is not an amusement park where we go from one happy ride to another. Neither is it like going to the movies: where we can cross our legs, relax in our chair, grab our popcorn and soda, and enjoy the show. Today’s Scripture passage tells us that Christianity is a competitive spiritual race. This means you are in a race where your fidelity (endurance) is being tested. Remember that you have spiritual enemies in high places who are determined to thwart your progress. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that you don’t remain faithful to the end. The good news is, you have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the angels, and the whole court of heaven rooting for you. Additionally, you have been endowed with all the supernatural help you need to be successful. In 2 Peter 1:3, the Holy Spirit testifies that “his [God’s] divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness . . .”
The Word of God tells us that we are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses.” These ‘witnesses’ refer to all the examples of faith (faithfulness, obedience, endurance) named in Hebrews chapter 11. God wants you to be like the people mentioned in Hebrews 11. Therefore, He wants you to lay aside two things which can negatively affect the outcome of your race of faith: First, you need to lay aside every weight; second, you need to lay aside the sin which so easily surrounds you. The idea here is simple. If you are in a competitive race, the slightest distraction or obstacle can stop you from attaining your goal. The ‘weight’ represents anything in your life that slows you down or hampers your progress in Christ. The sin part needs no explanation.
Notice the Bible doesn’t say God will lay these things aside for you. No, that is your job. The Bible says, you need to lay aside every weight. This means God has given you the supernatural power and ability to do just that. In today’s world, there are many things that can weigh you down and distract you from the spiritual race ahead of you: the stress, the insatiable lust for material things, the enticement of the latest fashion, style and entertainment, the watering down of God’s Word, the proliferation of false teachings in the Church, the blurring of the lines between right and wrong, sports addiction, corrupt TV programs, etc.
The Galatian Christians were doing well until some of them gave in to erroneous teachings about salvation and righteousness. This is what Paul told them: “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth (Galatians 5:7). Notice that Paul compares obeying the truth to running. Running the race of faith simply means living in faithful obedience and submission to Christ.
Dear child of God, the days are evil (cf. Ephesians 5:16). The enemy has a plan to hinder you. Stay alert in matters regarding your salvation, and abide in Jesus.
God bless you, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
For further study: Hebrews 11:1-40