27 Jan 2016

Lay Aside Every Weight

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.
(Hebrews 12: 1)

Recently I read this very familiar passage of scripture and God revealed something to me that I have not been able to stop thinking about.  So I want to take this opportunity to share it with you.

My husband often says that he is a preacher of small words.  What he means is that oftentimes we read scripture and we skim over the small words in an effort to grasp the full interpretation of the verse or chapter.  Taking that into consideration, I am seeing more and more that there is much revelation in those small words.  The writer in this very first verse of the 12th chapter of Hebrews tells us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, . . .”  What caught my attention are the two words LAY ASIDE.  Many times throughout the scripture we are told to cast out, destroy, get rid of things that are not good for us.  

But the huge question is why in this particular instance are we told to lay these things aside?  Before I share with you the answer God showed me to that question, I want to let you know that every weight is not a sin! Look closely at the verse and how it is grammatically structured.  “. . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, . . .”  We are admonished to lay aside every weight and sin!  Sometimes those weights are simply things that are holding us down or keeping us from moving forward in the direction God has planned for us.  Yes sin can be present, but every weight is not a sin.  

Stress can be a weight, clutter can be a weight, distraction can be a weight, worry can be a weight, and I could go on for a while but I think you get the picture.  God reminded me of my daughter when she was a track runner in high school.  In order for her to be fit to run her races she had to be properly attired and groomed.  You didn’t see long haired runners with their hair flapping in the breeze, it had to be pulled back in a pony tail.  I remember how costly her shoes were, it had to be just the right shoe for the sport she was in and they were always very lightweight!  Her outfit was made of a particular fabric that was close fitting but again very lightweight and non-restrictive.  After she was outfitted with all the required attire then she could put her skills to work and prepare to win the race!

We too are in a race, a race for endurance not for speed.  In order to endure to the end we must lay aside anything and everything that could be a hindrance.  But the wonderful thing about laying these weights aside is that God wants us to look over at them from time to time so that we will not forget what has deterred us.  In many cases we have been delivered from things and God has removed certain things from our lives that were not supposed to be there.  But in order for us not to succumb to “spiritual amnesia”, we need to be able to look at those things and see where God has brought us from!  

The lesson goes even deeper than that.  If we truly want to be God’s witnesses and agents to display His glory, then we will show others those things we have laid aside and testify of the freedom we have experienced since we laid those burdens down!  I get excited just thinking about it!  There are many things I have laid aside and others I will still need to lay aside.  However now I know the difference between destroying a thing or laying it aside, and am resting in the assurance that there is a time and a purpose for both.