Have you ever been stuck in a place and felt as though you could not move ahead? I have. One of those times was while climbing a mountain. I had reached a point in my climb where I was no longer moving up the face of the mountain. The longer I stayed in that one spot, the greater my anxiety grew. I began to get bogged down with thoughts of inadequacy and inability. As the seconds turned to one minute, two minutes, and more, I grew increasingly unsure of how to get up the climb.
I had grown frustrated and exhausted considering thoughts of defeat. Having allowed myself to become burdened by the immediate circumstances, I was ready to give up and quit. Not only was I not reaching my goal, I was no longer even moving in that direction! I needed to change my outlook, get a new perspective on the situation, and get up that climb! “Perspective” is defined in one dictionary as “a visible scene, especially one extending to a distance.” It also can mean “a mental view or prospect.”
God’s Word clearly tells us the best perspective to acquire and maintain in order to reach heights of victory.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
We are to look “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” As we consider his ways, we keep from becoming wearied and faint in our minds. What a mental view we can have as we learn from the example set by our lord and savior.
Jesus Christ walked perfectly, always doing the Father’s will, and thus he provides the greatest example for us to follow. His ability to overcome the most challenging obstacles enabled him to endure to victory. What perspective did he carry in order to accomplish all that was before him? His mind-set, his point of view, was one that extended far beyond the immediate circumstances. “For the joy that was set before him,” Jesus Christ endured the cross and is now “set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Because he trusted God’s Word completely, he won complete victory over every obstacle.
As we examine Hebrews 12:1-3, we will gain a greater understanding of the perspective needed to win in life. Just as Jesus Christ did, we too gain strength and endurance in challenging situations as we maintain a spiritual perspective according to God’s revealed Word.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Here we see we are to lay aside every weight. The Greek word translated “weight” here only occurs once in the Bible, and it refers to a bulk or mass, and thus a burden or encumbrance. A number of things can become weights or burdens. Social and peer pressures, financial concerns, job security and health issues, are all things we may face at times. While it is not God’s intent that we avoid issues when they arise or pretend that they do not exist, we are, however, to lay aside encumbrances, anxieties, or fears about those situations.
We are to “run with patience the race that is set before us.” Would anyone ever strap on a heavy backpack before running a footrace? Just like those running a footrace, we compete in the spiritual competition to win. Additional burdens do not help!
We “lay aside” every weight because weights and burdens can so easily surround one and set one back. To “lay aside” means to put off from oneself. In Ephesians, our loving heavenly Father tells us what to put off and what to put on.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
And be renewed in the spirit [life] of your mind;
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
The “old man” is a figure of speech meaning the old ways which a person had before being born again. That old-man nature can be like carrying deadweight. We are to put off the former ways of our old-man nature. The “new man” is the spirit of God that we receive when we are born again. We put on in our mind that which God created in righteousness and true holiness; then we live it. This is the renewed mind.
Thinking the thoughts of God’s Word and acting upon them brings power to any born-again believer, for we now have a mind coordinated and in harmony with our spirit. Putting on the new nature is how we lay aside the weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us!…
This is an excerpt from the September/October 2006 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2006 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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