Let Us Lay Aside Every Weight And the Sin that So Easily Besets Us.
Hebrews 12:1 “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.”
Each of us, as Christians, have a race that is set before us, by Christ. We run, not to beat others, but to finish the race, to be crowned. (As Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”)
And to finish the race we need to follow the course or way that is set before us. Not to detour here; or sit down there. But to finish the race.
Many things interfere with this “running”.
First, let us consider these weights.
Just what are they?
These weights are anything and everything, that hinders our spiritual growth.
External things that we can lay aside, as well as internal things that draw you off from following Christ and His course for you.
They should be laid aside.
To run well, you should not be burdened with anything.
Good things , as well as Bad things!
Anything that slows your progress, hinders your strength, or takes your eyes off the prize.
Most believe you can be saved, and then anything but lost. When the real truth is far from that.
Weights are things in which we have a choice: whether we carry them or not.
They are just not necessary for our race.
Some of our friendships may be weights.
Another weight we should learn to lay aside is failures:
Past failures, Present failures, Future failures.
We must confess our failures, but then we need to lay them aside.
And this you must do with real effort; Or the Adversary of our souls, the Devil, will burden you down until you are useless, for the work that is now.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Old things are passed away–behold all things are become new.
We have no excuse for carrying these old things around with us.
And by the Power of the Holy Spirit, all things are becoming new.
And to Him they are! What about you? Do you want to drop these old things–Do you want them passed away?
Well, if you do, God’s Power , by the Holy Spirit within, enables you to drop the burden of these things…to know the cleansing Power of His blood; and to also have a cleansed conscience.
Paul said (Acts 24:16) “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God and toward men.”
This was the persecutor, who became the apostle.
This was the Pharisee, who became a servant of Christ.
Old things had passed away, New things were becoming new for Paul, everyday!
And his conscience had become new, too.
Another weight you should lay aside is old habits.
Things that are naturally your way of doing things:
“Now I can’t do that, because that is not the way I do things.”
“Now, wait a minute, Lord…if you want that done; it would be more reasonable to do this, this way. (My way)”
Another weight is time:
We think we have an endless supply of time to do what God has said.
We can change that habit–later.
We can witness to that friend–later.
We can pray for them–later.
But “later” usually never comes…and if it does, the Holy Spirit often has been quenched so the power for the work is gone.
And that is what we lack , the Power of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives.
We often try and make up for it with uplifting services, or acts of charity. (There is nothing wrong with either).
But substituting emotional things , for the power of the Holy Spirit, robs us of Reality.
Instead, we are left going up and down , draining ourselves of real joy.
That weighs us down.
These weights are anything which slows our progress. Anything which unfits us for the discharge of our duty to God.
Anything which dulls the conscience , blunts the edge of our spiritual Appetite (our hungering and thirsting after righteousness), or chokes the Spirit of Prayer.
Things that tire us and depress us, so that our Christian Life is wearisome.
Hebrews 12:1 (above)
“So great a cloud of witnesses”!!
A witness gives facts—And these tell of GOD’s faithfulness; of what HE has done for them.
And what others have done by the faith given them by the Holy Spirit.
Old Testament saints did not have the light that we have. Yet they believed, and hoped and loved the Lord. Should not we, who have known Christ’s coming and His great sacrifice for us?
Hebrews 12:1 (above)
“And the sin which doth so easily beset us.”
Our Besetting Sin is a sin which we are most prone to; most sorely tempted with.
For some it is one thing , for another it is something else.
You might say, “Why does that tempt you? It doesn’t me!” And that is true.
But your besetting sin, might mean nothing to me.
“Beset” means to thwart, or block a racer in every direction.
But the real Besetting Sin is the sin of unbelief.
Because of this, we NEVER OBTAIN THE THINGS GOD GIVES US.
Hebrews 11:33 “Who thru faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained
Promises, stopped the mouths of lions, ”
“Obtain” means you have it in ACTUAL EXPERIENCE.
Now obtained promises!!
You maybe think that if God gave you a promise, that would be the end of it.
He will see you get it…..Maybe twist your arm till you have it?
But a promise is ONLY a promise; UNTIL YOU HAVE OBTAINED THAT WHICH IS PROMISED!
And you obtain them thru means.
With God the means to the end cannot be overlooked.
For there are always means to the obtaining of these Promises.
It can be the means of believing,(Believe ye that I am able to do this? Mat. 9:28)
It can be the means of praying (Ask, Seek, and Knock. Luke 11:9-10)
It can be the means of Obedience (Go show yourselves unto the priests. Luke 17:12-14)
With God the means to the end cannot be overlooked.
If HE has given you a promise, than lay aside the Besetting Sin of Unbelief; and seek His face by prayer and the Scriptures….and do so until you have obtained it!
UNTIL YOU HAVE IT IN ACTUAL POSSESSION.
When you have it, you will know it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;
But will with the temptation also make A WAY TO ESCAPE , that ye may be able to bear it.”
Here is a clear promise from the Word–about our weights and sins.
But to obtain this Promise we will have to do two things:
Resist the Devil !
And look very diligently for that way of escape !
For God is faithful , Who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able.
Here our Wills must be exercised . We must will with God by the New Nature through the Power of the Holy Spirit; Or will, with what the Devil offers us, through the Old Nature.
In our spirits, lives the Holy Spirit for us. Not just as a seal that we are Christians, like a stamp to get us into Heaven.
But He is God the Spirit, indwelling us for good….our good. He guides; He shows , by the Scriptures what Christ has and is saying to us; He enlightens; He gives joy, peace, strength, wisdom;
But He MUST BE YIELDED TO; WE MUST EXERCISE OUR WILLS TO WILL AFTER HIM.
The Devil, our Adversary, usually works, from without.
What we see….What we hear…..What companions we have….Where we go.
1 Corinthians 10:14 “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.”
Anything that draws you off from GOD, could be considered an idol.
Anything that takes 1st place in your heart, could be considered an idol.
To whoever, or whatever, you give final obedience; that is to be considered your God.
Hebrews 12:1 “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,”
Paul said about his race:
(1 Corinthians 9:26) “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;…”
Paul knew his course. He was to preach the Gospel of Christ, crucified and risen; in every place he was told to go.
And Paul knew his God, that HE was faithful in all things.
Remember, from the 1st deliverance in a basket over the wall, from those who sought to kill him in Damascus (Acts 9:22-25)….to the end, when no one would stand with him before Caesar (2 Timothy 4:16-17) “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…”
We, too have a race to finish.
Are you weighed down with things of this life, or with your plans?
Have you laid aside the sin of unbelief?
This is not unbelief of Christ….but unbelief of what He will do for you.
The call is :”Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us”
Are you ready to go on with Him in your race?