“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1, NASB95)
Have there been times in your life that you desired to accomplish something but was afraid to get started? I’ve been there and I bet I’m not by myself! I set my heart to what I want to do and I know the outcome that I want to have, but if I let my mind get in the way or what I see with my eyes to distract me…I have at times quit before I’ve even started! Some of us don’t start because we relate what we want to do with something that we’ve started before and did not finish for some reason. Others measure themselves against those that have accomplished what we desire to do and feel as if we do not measure up. Then we begin to qualify why we will not start – “If I had more money, I would…” “If this were ten years ago, it would be no question…” “Had my marriage not fallen apart, then I could see…” “If I had only gotten that degree when I first started…” “If I were 25 pounds lighter…” – have I hit your excuse yet?
In Hebrews 11, Paul gives a definition of faith and a litany of heroes and heroines who persevered through faith. What is important for us to understand is that we ALL have faith – it is WHAT OR WHO we choose to put our faith IN is where we have challenges. Paul reminds of Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Enoch, Joseph and so many more who, like us, had to decide to put our trust in God for our best outcome. Hebrews 12 continues with “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses…” – witnesses that are watching our journey but witnesses to their own journey of how God brought them out and brought them through – “…let us ALSO lay aside every encumbrance and sin…” The word “also” should be a comfort to us that these witnesses had their own doubts as well but they chose to put them aside so that the glory of God could be seen through their lives! In addition, Scripture doesn’t just indicate that sin derails it – it also uses the word “encumbrance” which means hindrance, burden or inconvenience. Many times, we’ve walked away from sin, but we allow distractions to pull us off our track…to slow us down in running this race.
We’ve got somewhere to go – are you ready? If not, ask God to lighten your load. Truth is – He wants you to ask because He wants you to run – because He already sees you in the Winners’ Circle!
My friends, there is a race called destiny that you are in – when will you start running? What’s stopping you from getting started? Whatever it is, it’s weighing you down…cast it off and let’s get going!