“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.”
Here is some great wisdom in how to follow Jesus in the midst of the muck and clamor of our world today. First, we are reminded of the cheering crowd of faithful witnesses urging us on. In the last few months, I have discovered on my bookshelf an old book – the Encyclopedia of Missions, printed in 1902. There are hundreds of brief biographies of great men and women of the faith. For many, it is only a few lines. But, I marvel at their faithfulness and perseverance. I am cheered by their memory.
Second, the author of Hebrews exhorts us to “throw off” hindrances and entangling sin. The meaning here is one of separation. We are to be detached from that which constrains our faithfulness. We are to put in place a buffer zone which is devoid of strings of attachment. We are to run the race in righteousness and holiness. Our following after Jesus is to bring Him honor and glory.
How do we create this buffer zone?
We first must examine ourselves to see what limits our faithfulness. We must recognize that it is very easy to become entangled. One sign of entanglement is simply being too busy. If God had something specific for us to do, would we have time for it?
God has given us understanding, experiences, and skills to be used to bring His blessing to others. If you look back at this past week, how has God used you? Or are you just too entangled?
Are there activities, time-wasters, or idle moments which contribute to your being twisted, snarled, and entrapped in that which in light of eternity is fruitless? There are times when all of us need to break free to follow Jesus.
– Written by Edward Bradley, May 11th 2004