“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.”
Another “therefore” so let’s talk about what it’s there for.
Chapter 11 of Hebrews talks about heroes of the faith, some named, others not. People who endured incredible persecution and even death – with faith unwavering.
That’s the crowd of witnesses. They’ve observed and lived the life of faith. We can rely on their stories as excellent roadmaps for our own faith.
Because we’ve seen what they accomplished, we can choose to do as they did: strip off every weight that slows us down.
Yeah, I’ve struggled with that, too. Here’s what I’ve experienced. For years – a lot of them – I lived my life trying to please people. I thought I was trying to please God, but really, I was trying to meet the expectations of the people around me.
When I finally stripped that weight from me, choosing to accept me as God designed me, I felt a freedom. It’s a freedom to follow Him in faith regardless of what others think or say.
Another weight I bore was perfectionism – which is based in fear and goes hand in hand with the people pleasing. This one not only weighted me down, it tangled my feet, bringing me to a full halt.
Do you see the theme here? These things, these weights stopped me from doing what God designed me to do — my purpose.
Almighty God designed every one of us humans with a purpose. Ultimately that purpose is to bring Him glory, but we’re all designed differently, with unique plans to accomplish what He has laid out for us.
It’s time we choose Him and His plans over the fear of failure, the anxiety for the future, the need to please people. It’s time to accept that we are God’s most excellent creation, designed with intricate care for a specific purpose.
It’s time to cast off the weights and get to running this race well.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.