“Lay Hold, Lay Aside & Lay Up” Part 2: Lay Aside
“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.” (Heb. 12:1-2)
For some professing Christians, the Christian life is defined by and limited to their connection to a church and their experience in that narrow window of time we call a church service. As many of you know, living for God extends beyond that and has neither border nor boundary, for our relationship with God does not affect some areas to the exclusion of other areas. That being said, God’s Word instructs each of us, as Christians, in how to live out our relationship to God. It starts with “Laying Hold” of salvation…. saying “Yes” to Christ and accepting His death on the cross as the payment for our sins and salvation. That one decision changes our direction, destiny and destination. Today’s devotion provides us with words of wisdom and instruction that are real and relevant to every believer regardless of status, station or denomination.
“Seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses...”. Some have interpreted this to mean that the “cloud of witnesses” are those who have gone on before us that are watching our lives from heaven. Personally, I seriously doubt that the attention of those in that wonderful place called heaven is fixed on us here. This we do know, all of us are surrounded by people that are watching our lives. What we do, where we go and how we live has influence on others in a positive or negative way.
“Let us lay aside every weight…”. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are HEAVY LADEN…”. How easy it is to unintentionally become loaded down with the weights and worries of life. The weights of life can cause us to feel like it takes all of our energy and efforts just to get through everyday stuff. Perhaps that describes your life right now. I’ve been there and know well the heaviness of the weights of life and ministry. In those times, without exception, the weights I was carrying were weights God never intended for me to carry. The instruction is clear: Lay aside the weight. Don’t keep it…don’t carry it…but cast it on the Lord (I Peter 5:7). Cast or carry…. it’s our choice.
“Lay aside every weight AND THE SIN…”. Paul makes a distinction between weights and sin. In either case, weight or sin…we are to lay it aside. The unspoken message is that it’s doable. It can be done…we are not helpless victims and prisoners of weights or sin… both can be laid aside. Notice the word “every”. Lay aside EVERY weight and EVERYsin. That means we are to have a ZERO tolerance for both. For many people, their need is not a vacation, a pill, a party or a person. Laying aside…. casting our weights on God and laying aside sin would make a huge difference in our walk with God as well as our marriage and family.
Today…. not tomorrow or next week—today, is a good day to lay aside whatever seems to be weighing you down and holding you back from God’s best for your life. It’s not easy…nor is it impossible. If it was easy everybody would be doing it…they’re not… but, you can. With the help of an unfailing God, we will live the life, walk the walk and run the race!