Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1 NLT).
Ask any runner and they will tell you that removing all excess weight is an absolute necessity if you are going to run to win a race.
For example every year, at the start of the Boston marathon, competitors will line up at the start with a lot of extra clothing because of the low temperatures. But once the race begins and they have warmed up, all the excess clothing is tossed to the side. (Incidentally, the excess clothing is donated to charity),
Because all the extra clothing is excess weight that hinders and slows down the runners.
This week, I’d like to talk about stripping off and laying aside every weight. No, it’s not about clothing or diet, but about our many spiritual, emotional and mental weights, (to mention just a few), that could be a burden and hinder you from running at our best,
Hebrews 12:1 distinguishes between weights and sin and there is a huge difference.
There are many precious believers who may not be sinning, but the fact of the matter is they are still trying to run God’s race loaded with weights.
Paul said it like this in 1 Corinthians 6:12 in the Amplified Version:
“Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.”
The Apostle Paul is saying that there are some things that are not sin and they are permitted, but they are just not good for you.
They are not helpful, expedient and profitable to you.
In other words, it may not be a sin, but it’s a weight nonetheless, which will slow you down and hinder you from getting to where God wants you to be in His divine purpose and plan.
The word “strip off” (NLT) or “lay aside” (NKJV) comes from a Greek word that is made up of two words which when compounded gives the picture of someone who is not only laying something down, but who is at the same time, pushing it far away from himself.
As you can see, such an action implies a deliberate decision.
Removing these weights will never happen accidentally.
You must be resolute, firm and very honest with yourself by recognising and identifying these weights in your life.
God gave us His very best by sending His Only Begotten Son, Jesus to die and give His life in exchange for our lives.
God did this because He wants us to have His best.
Friend, running God’s race with heavy, cumbersome weights is not the best for you.
And besides, many of us are carrying things that we were never meant to carry, oftentimes ending in frustration, sorrow, despair, heartache, loss, sickness and in some circumstances, even untimely death.
God chose you and fashioned you for Himself and He qualified you to run His race.
And if you are going to be your best, you must lay aside every single encumbering weight.
The amazing thing is that God already purposed for all of us to be winners.
That’s His divine will and purpose for you.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to let any weight rob me of my rightful blessing and inheritance!
How about you?
I purpose, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to lay aside every weight of encumbrance, so that I might effectively run God’s race, fulfilling His divine plan and purpose for my life.