Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 10, 2017

throw it off

My heart wants to think like an athlete. My weight hinders my ability for great athletic accomplishments. Just this morning, I rode my bike several miles. It was a good feeling … until I was reminded that some runners move as fast as I biked. Furthermore, I was hindered by heavy clothes (it was cold outside). If I really was serious about athletics, weight and clothing would become a big deal to me. You may have either participated in a strenuous athletic event, or know someone who has. Typically, the clothing worn at these events will be light. Athlete’s look for any advantage gained through weight, clothing, and footwear. Christ-followers need to “run the race” like serious athletes. We are on a spiritual marathon, and running well is vital. Scripture has something to say about the way we should run our race.

Therefore, since we are surrounded
by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the
race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

Being a person who wishes to finish my race well, I am very aware of struggles that tend to weigh me down. Listening to a podcast this morning reminded me of spiritual baggage that needs to be thrown off. Viewing Hebrews 12:1 thoughtfully gives me (and you) great insight on how to run our race well. Great sermons have been preached on this verse and you have probably heard a few. Take a moment in your own race to meditate on the first part of the verse, and be encouraged.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,”

In context, this is speaking of the great examples of faith in Hebrews chapter eleven (The Hall of Faith chapter). Those referenced didn’t have easy races to run, but they had unshakable faith. Faith worked for them, and faith still works today!

Taking the time to read this article means that you most likely believe God will honor your faith. You also likely want to sharpen some areas by accepting the second part of the verse:

“… let us throw off everything that hinders.”

God in His infinite wisdom chose not to give us a specific item that hinders.  I believe He did that for a purpose. We may struggle in different areas, but we all tend to carry weight that burdens us on the “race marked out for us.

What weights are hindering your spiritual effectiveness? What items need to be thrown off? Great athletes are an example in the way they compete. Extra weight can be the difference between winning and losing, so even the smallest weight (hindrance) is worth removing. If you are like me, it is easy to bring to mind a weight that is hindering your effectiveness. If the Father prompts your Spirit with a weight, commit right now to “throw it off.” Remember, where He gives us instruction, He gives us capacity to accomplish them through His Spirit. Our race will not conclude until heaven, but the leaner we run, the more He is glorified.

Be open to the Father’s counsel about what is hindering you today, and throw it off!

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