Day 13: A Day of Laying Aside
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.
We are more than half way through our time of fasting and by now we should be aware of the unnecessary weight that has attached itself to our life. Just as in our physical bodies, we can accumulate weight that causes us to become sluggish or entangled in our spiritual walk. We no longer have the passion for God that we once had and soon tire too easily of doing things that once were such a delight. When we accumulate unwanted pounds in our physical bodies, we have to go through life style changes to eliminate the weight we are carrying. The same is true in our spiritual life and lifestyle changes are required to get us back into shape and to reenergize us to a vibrant spiritual walk.
What are those weights that we so often carry? The writer of Hebrews tells us they are sins that trip us up. They are like those little foxes (Song 2:15) that have worked their way into our lives because we have not taken the time to close the gate and keep them out. How many of us have jumped on the scales after a week or two only to realize we have “suddenly” put on five pounds. This is the same way that the sins of our soul get attached. We are so busy with life that we have not taken the time to keep a check on our own spiritual life and “suddenly” we realize we have picked up offense, jealousy, pride, apathy, etc and those little foxes have slipped in unaware.
So, how do we lose this unwanted weight? We are told how to do this in the Hebrews passage. First we must recognize what each weight or sin is and repent of it. And secondly, we must make a decision to strip each weight off, one by one, and throw it aside. In other words, a lifestyle change is required. What does that look like? It may look like carving out a time with the Lord everyday instead of only giving Him what is left over. Or, it may look like letting go of some of the people we associate with who are negative influences in our lives. Or, it could be those seemingly harmless activities that are cleverly opening the door for “little foxes” to come in and damage our souls.
Whatever that weight may be, make a decision today to lay it aside and pursue God with a renewed passion.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.