God has a plan for everyone. He wants each of us to run our race in line with His purpose. But to complete our race, we have to lay aside the weights that hold us back from accomplishing what God has called us to do.
Hebrews 12:1(NKJV) says, “Therefore . . . , since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
It’s Time to Lose Weight
Identifying these weights can be both easy and challenging. A weight can be something like watching television instead of spending time with the Lord. The internet can also be a weight as many people spend hours on social media.
At one time, playing video games was a weight for me. I am very competitive and have stayed up all night trying to beat a game level. I have even stayed up every night of the week playing video games. Nothing of value was accomplished, and my lack of sleep affected things I needed to do throughout the week.
Weights that might not be so obvious include shyness or anger issues. I was very shy in high school. Shyness was a weight I had to overcome to fulfill the call on my life. In the Book of Acts, we see believers praying for boldness to preach the Gospel (Acts 4:29).
Other weights can include relationships. By no means am I trying to suggest that dating is wrong. Sometimes people can become so engrossed in dating relationships they don’t take care of their responsibilities.
Weights are things that keep us from running our race. Whether it is something that steals our time or hinders us from stepping out, we must shake off any weight that prevents us from fulfilling our purpose in life.
Our race will span our entire life, so we must run with perseverance.Craig W. Hagin
Be Patient and Stay Focused
Hebrews 12:1 goes on to say, “let us run with patience.” This is letting us know that our race may not go as fast as we want it to.
My grandfather Kenneth E. Hagin had pastored for nearly 12 years when the Lord told him he was about to enter the first phase of his ministry. It took him more than a decade before he was finally ready to start doing the first phase of his calling. But, if he had not pastored, he could not have accomplished God’s call on his life.
The writer of Hebrews also tells us to “run the race that is set before us” (v. 1). We have to focus on our race, not another person’s. Just because someone is doing something doesn’t mean that God wants us to do the same thing. We don’t win our race if we run in another person’s lane. Although we may be a blessing to people along the way, we won’t hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” when we stand before the Lord.
And finally, we are running a marathon, not a sprint. Our race will span our entire life, so we must run with perseverance. Perseverance means “the ability to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.”
Perseverance keeps going when others have quit. And it’s not bothered by the mistakes we make. It keeps us getting back up, moving forward, and trying again.
No matter what we encounter during our race, we can finish. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” There may be days when we think we can’t make it—that we are not going to finish. But those thoughts are not from God. They are from the devil. He will try to stop us from running our race, but we must unwaveringly stand on the Word and keep advancing toward the finish line.
We can accomplish anything when our trust is in God. But saying “I can’t” is speaking contrary to the Word. The Bible says we can. Many people try to run their race in their own strength. In ourselves, we can only do so much. But in God, we can do all things!
Let’s shed the weight, pick up the baton, and run the course God has laid out for us. And let’s decide not only to run our race but also to finish it!
Get Rid of Your Baggage!
At one time or another, we have all dealt with baggage in our lives. It doesn’t matter who we are—life is never perfect. We experience disappointments, failures, deceptions, and ugly situations. During challenging times, we may not know that we are accumulating baggage.
Sometimes we don’t realize we are carrying baggage. We have grown accustomed to it, and it has become a part of our lives. But it only keeps us from fulfilling God’s plan and prevents us from having the joy of the Lord in our hearts. Baggage only keeps us in bondage. We all have assignments from God, and the only way to accomplish them is to kick the baggage out the door!
What’s weighing you down today? What’s keeping you from moving forward and running your race? Maybe it’s disappointments, hurts, fear, or worry. Perhaps you’ve experienced rejection, abuse, or low self-esteem. It could even be frustration, sickness, or lack. Whatever it is, now is the time to throw away all the baggage!
God has grace for disappointments, comfort for hurts, love for fear, and peace for worry. He has also made available to us reconciliation, restoration, high self-esteem, patience, health, provision, and joy unspeakable!
While Jesus was on the cross, He removed baggage from us! But we have to receive what He did! It’s time to get rid of that baggage for good and allow God to use us!
Craig W. Hagin
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