Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Old habits have a way of sneaking back into our lives. They’re developed over time. Experts say that in order to develop a habit, a person needs to repeat an act of some sort a minimum of 21 days. After 21 days, the act becomes a habit. There are some old habits that I don’t even think about when doing. They’re not bad, they just happen. Like when I start my day at work. I find that starting the day the same way every day enables me to organize my early morning office time efficiently. Another habit is when I would hop on my lawn tractor to cut the grass. I found a way to again efficiently cut the grass in a certain pattern so that I could keep the tractor moving in a forward direction. I also drive to different places the same way every time. Like church for example. Although there are a lot of ways to get to church (many different roads), I use the same travel path every time. It’s like putting my car on auto pilot. I don’t even think about it.
Some old habits are not good, and they too try to sneak back into our lives. Those old habits include the burdens of fear that causes us to shrink back in the face of suffering, discouragement the cripples us through doubt, and the destructive emotions of anger and rage that want to change who we are.
But Praise the Lord that Jesus has given us a way to cast aside “every weight and the sin that ensnares us”. We can make it to the end because of the power we have in Jesus Christ. If He endured the cross in order that we might live eternally with Him, than we can run the race of faith, keeping our eyes on Him. God has given us others as examples, or “witnesses” to encourage us. These individuals, whether they are the heroes of faith in God’s Word or those who God has placed in our lives to mentor us and have gone to their eternal home with Jesus, their lives and their testimony helps us along the way. And like a runner, we must be in constant motion toward the goal despite opposition. This demands incredible and often times strenuous effort and endurance, which is learned from constant discipline and enabled through the power of our Lord, Jesus Christ and His amazing grace.
Our prayers, our daily conversation with God, disciplines and connects us. An intimate relationship with God through daily prayer and the study of His Word, enables us to overcome the obstacles, the old habits that want to trap us and keep us from moving forward to the end. Each day God orders our steps (Psalm 37:23). But it’s our daily relationship with Him that keeps us on those steps. All of those steps lead to the finish line and the great and wonderful prize that awaits all of us who call Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Thank You God that we have a way to cast aside the obstacles, the old habits, the things that trap us, so that we can finish our time here on earth. Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life. Thank You for those You have given us as examples of faith and may we look upon You, Jesus, to give direction, power, and strength to make it to the end. Forgive us Lord when we go backwards and look at the ways of the past instead of keeping our eyes on the path. May we be always moving forward through our time in prayer and our time in Your Holy Word. In Jesus Name. AMEN.
Don’t believe me, believe God!