The long, gruelling 100km trailwalk through bush, over mountain tracks and creek crossings is about to begin. The participants are lined up, stripped to the bare essentials for what will take 24 – 48 hours to complete. All is ready for the start.
Then another competitor approaches the starting line. He is fully dressed, wearing bulky clothes and a padded jacket with bulging pockets and a fur hat. He is carrying a packed bag and an umbrella.
Surely he wouldn’t try this long, arduous walk like that?
He replies: “Of course! The race is long and treacherous so I am prepared. There is absolutely nothing wrong with anything I have here. Everything I have is good and beneficial to me.”
Yes, the things may be GOOD. They would be beneficial in some circumstances. But are they BENEFICIAL to him in this race? Will they HELP him in the race? In the Olympic races or Trailwalks there is no rule against carrying a supply of food and beverage or creature comforts, but the runner would never win the race that way.
Hebrews 12: 1-2
“Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith”
The Christian life requires us not only to avoid SIN but also to give up some GOOD THINGS which will keep us from BEING OUR BEST, and from GIVING OUR BEST, and from DOING OUR BEST for the glory of God.
“Lay aside every weight”
What weights are we carrying in our Christian race – the race which “is set” before us – the race from the cross to glory? (from conversion to physical death)
We easily recognise some weights -
sinful habits, bad temper, impatience, a critical spirit,
a gossiping tongue, greed, selfishness, resentment, grudges
- the list seems endless -
but what about the “good and beneficial” things which can be hindrances?
How often do we allow “good and beneficial” things
to hinder our walk with Christ?
The Christian life is a race that requires discipline and endurance.
We must strip ourselves of everything that would impede us.
Weights are things that may be harmless in themselves and yet hinder progress;
they could include -
material possessions, family ties, the love of comfort,
the use of leisure time,
devotion to hobbies, sports and other activities.
They could also include Christian service
if done for the wrong reasons and motives -
self promotion, to get praise of others, etc.
We must guard against the notion that the race is an easy sprint, that everything in the Christian life is rosy. We are in a battle. We must be prepared to press on with perseverance through trials and temptations.
The new year presents us with a good opportunity to self examine, to ask the Lord to reveal “weights” which hinder our progress and to set in place goals and actions to ‘keep us on track’
# ANYTHING that comes between me and God – ROBS God.
# Anything that comes between me and God – BECOMES my god.
# He who offers God second place, offers Him NO place.
Everything is either a “wing” or a “weight”
Lord, reveal to me the “weights” in my life:
the things that hinder my walk with You.
Let me burn out for Thee, dear Lord;
Burn and wear out for Thee.
Don’t let me rust or my life be a failure,
Dear God, to Thee.
Take me and all I have, dear Lord,
And get me so close to Thee
That I feel the throb of the deep heart of God
Until I burn out for Thee.