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, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith… (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV)
To run the “race of faith,” to walk with the Lord each day, there are some things that I’ve got to constantly watch out for in this new year. First, I’ve got to examine my life, see my choices, habits, and desires through His eyes so that I can identify “everything that hinders,” that slows me down in my “run” with the Lord each day. Things like… Reading the morning paper instead of reading His Word before I head out the door to work in the morning. Anxiety that causes me to worry and fixate on my problems instead of trusting Him and “fixing my eyes on Jesus.” Too much time in front of the television or on the computer. These are some of the things that immediately come to mind. They are not “bad” things, but they sure get in the way, they hinder me from deepening my walk with the Lord. They hold me back from running like He has called me to run.
Secondly, I’ve got to be able to see the “sin that so easily entangles.” I know from experience that sin which takes root is all too often a vicious vine that strangles and suffocates. A little bitterness quickly becomes unbridled animosity and anger if not dealt with swiftly. Dipping my toes in the pool of self-centeredness can leave me drowning in a whirlpool of greed if not addressed with urgency. That’s how sin works. It pleases before it entangles and kills. The alcoholic never intended to become enslaved by a bottle. The adulterer could have never imagined the destruction that would follow the fling.
More than fearing enslavement or destruction because of those things that hinder and entangle, I am yearning to run with the Lord like never before. For that to happen I’ve to get rid of what slows me down and holds me back. My prayer today, Lord, is that you would open my eyes to all that is in my life that is holding me back. Free me Father so that I might run this race with everything that is within me today.