After ‘Overcoming Faith Fatigue’ last week, I asked the Holy Spirit what was next and he led me to this scripture.
|Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrew 12:1-2).|
I find it very timely as we are in the season of lent. Anyways I got on FaceBook this morning (a ritual that I am trying to break) and saw a post about someone giving up crisps for lent. I thought surely this is not what lent is about. *blank stare*
Anyhoo back to the scripture:
I have read this scripture many times, but on this day, I noticed something different. I realised two very important things to do when going on a faith journey/battle. The first thing is ‘stripping off the weight that slows us down’ and the second thing is ‘getting rid of the sin that trips us up’. Thinking back to the boxing analogy and doing some research I found out that it is very important for boxers to strip off unnecessary weight no matter their weight class. Unnecessary weight slows the boxer down and makes them susceptible to being hit. Since faith is a battle and the Bible says that we have to fight the good fight of faith, we need to ask ourselves two questions:
- What are the weights that slow us down?
I realised that the weight that slows us down is not necessarily a sin but something we do or we have in our lives that make the faith journey slower and harder. For everyone this is different and maybe you have to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what slows you down or maybe you’ll know straight away.
(For me I’ve found FaceBook to affect my faith as it makes me feel like God is blessing everyone but me. Now this is not necessarily a sin, but in order to run my faith journey effectively I need to cut back on FaceBook #struggles.)
This does not mean that you can’t have any fun in your life, however when you are on a faith journey or battle, it is important to strip off anything that slows you down.
Some possible weights could be:
- Netflix aka Binge TV
- Fear (Judges 7:3)
- Doubt in your heart (Mark 11:23)
- Lack of self-control (Judges 7:5)
- Bad company (Number 13&14, Even though Joshua and Caleb had faith and were ready to take the promise land, the people around them caused a 40-year delay because of their unbelief)
- Negative speaking about your situation
- What are the sins that trip us up?
A lot of times when the devil wants to throw us out of the race, he targets that ‘small sin’ we tend to take for granted. For something to trip you up, you almost have to not see it coming or underestimate it. It is very difficult for a massive hill or mountain to trip you up, it is usually the small rocks on the track that cause the most damage. Some versions use the word ‘entangle’ and for something to entangle you, you have to almost allow it and play with it. The devil’s strategy a lot of times is to make you underestimate or rationalise little sins in your life and before you know it you are entangled and have been tripped up.
|“If you are going to overcome and win the faith battle, you have to learn to speak the word of God into your situations like Jesus did in the wilderness” Matthew 4|
When it comes to the faith battle my mind always goes back to a boxing ring. Sorry guys this is a bit gory, but so is the battle for your faith as the devil likes to fight dirty. He will throw all kinds of punches on your emotions, mind and even your body. Anything necessary to make you throw in the towel and lose your ‘faith’ which is Christianese for CONFIDENCE IN GOD.
In the last few rounds of a boxing match, both fighters are physically tired, bloody and bruised; this is when their mental strength kicks in and pushes past their physical pain. As Christians in a faith battle your ‘spirit man’ wins the battle by keeping you going when you are tired of waiting on God, bruised from the devil’s mental and emotional punches.
The bible says we do not wrestle against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits. (Ephesians 6:12). Sound pretty scary right?! WRONG because
|Hebrew 2:7-9 God has crowned you with glory and honour and put everything under your feet and God left nothing that is not subject to your authority.|
What this means is that your well trained ‘spirit man’ can win any battle the devil throws your way because of what Jesus did on the cross. WIN!!
So what can you do with all this information?
- Ask God to reveal what slows you down and look to Jesus to help you take it off (Hebrews 12:1-2)
- Ask God to show you the sins that trip you up (your weak points) and fix your eyes on Jesus to help you get rid of them (Hebrew 12:1-2)
- Train your spirit man consistently. A lot of athletes will tell you that the key to winning is:
- Consistency and routine
- Intensity in workout
- Proper Nutrition
Because doing these things bring about Growth.
Endeavour to train your ‘spirit man’ by consistently feeding and renewing your mind in the Word of God with the right intensity (enthusiasm, fervor, fire, heat, passion, zeal). Nourishing your spirit with the right nutrition of praise, worship, meditation and other spiritual disciplines. Most importantly fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of your faith (Hebrew 12:2).