Struggling in your walk with Christ? We may be making it harder than it should be…
3 So do this, my child, to free yourself…Go–to the point of exhaustion…4 allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. 5 Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
What is it that hinders us from following the Lord wholeheartedly? Knowing is half the battle. Once we know, then we can turn our focus and energy to dealing with it. It may sound easy, but most victories are won one battle at a time until ultimate victory is accomplished. So it is with anything in our lives that hinders us. Here’s what the writer of Hebrews says,
1 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. Hebrews 12:1
The writer calls that which hinders sin. Sin means, “to miss the mark.” We KNOW we miss the mark of perfection (doing everything right according to God). So, how do we throw it off, and how do we keep it from keeping us down? The good news is that Jesus has already done it! Let’s read the rest of verse 1 and then verse 2,
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
- The race marked out for us is God’s will for our lives.
- The Person we are to fix our eyes upon is Jesus.
- He is the Beginner and the Ender of faith, which means that He carries both sides of the New Covenant. Not only are we not held accountable for any sin–past, present or future, He has changed what sin does in our lives. It’s like it used to bind us, but now it’s just dead weight that we can take off, as if it were hand and leg irons that came undone.
Do we need, then, to ask forgiveness for sin that we can’t seem to give up? The word we are to activate is, “confess,” which means to agree with God that what is wrong is wrong. This is the “knowing” part of the battle. The second part has to do with Romans 8:15. Let’s look at it:
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
- The Spirit we received is the Spirit of Christ Jesus (see Romans 8:9-10).
- We are no longer slaves, but sons!
- We no longer have to live in fear.
- We cry out, “Daddy!” to the heavenly Father.
Jesus Himself now lives in each of us giving us victory over “everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” To rid ourselves of besetting sin (embedded habits), Jesus asks us to:
- Acknowledge that we have the habit and that it is a problem.
- Give Him the problem and ask for His help.
- Do the next thing He asks of you.
- Each time you fall, confess and begin again.
- The Spirit is always specific and encouraging. If you hear condemning words that make you want to quit trying, just realize that you are hearing from the enemy.
- Rejoice even in failure! God knows how many times we will fail before we succeed, therefore, He rejoices with each time we get closer and closer to that success. We see each failure; He sees the ultimate victory.
This failure, or stumbling, is not the stumbling that is talked about in Jude 24, which means to falter in your belief in Jesus as God’s Son and that He is our Savior. This stumbling is like a toddler who is learning to walk. We need our spiritual legs to become strong. When a baby toddles from one parent to another, they don’t count how many times he falls, but how many steps he takes! Just like those parents love that baby, GOD LOVES US! I can’t say that strongly enough. Tears come to my eyes when I say it because the Spirit fairly yells to me, “It’s True!!!” Believe it. Stake your life on it. Trust it. Act on it.
Abba, may You show us again and again how much You love us. We are inscribed on the palm of Your hand (Isaiah 49:16). We are the apple of Your eye (Deuteronomy 32:10). May we never forget, but rather be amazed each day with how much You love us. We know that we are more than conquerors through You, Lord Jesus, the One who loves us (Romans 8:37). Help us to grow in the knowledge of Your love.