I have decided

My, Devotion to Him #316

Verse Passage: Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” – ESV

Let us run this race with endurance and lay aside every weight. You must have the endurance for this race of life. This journey we are on requires it, and if you want to make it, set aside any weight you carry. Endurance is necessary for long distances, but it also allows you to continue even through challenging circumstances that you might experience. The terrain is not continuously smooth and paved, so you will find yourself in the jungle fighting back its dense trees. Sometimes it’s climbing snow-capped mountains while struggling to see what’s ahead. Perhaps it’s a walk in the scorched desert until you gradually make your way into the swamps and marsh. 

This is the only race! You only get this one. We cannot change what has passed us. Do not look back for extended periods because it will cause you to stumble. Though, we can still try to learn from our past. Spending too much time in the past precludes us from recognizing what’s present, which in turn prevents us from encountering unique moments in the future. There is a warning for those waiting for the future. Too many are looking for what’s down the road instead of what’s next. They miss much of what’s down the road because they are constantly looking too far ahead. Instead, focus on the next step instead of always looking for the next lap. A marathon race is a lifetime event. The distance will not change no matter how far you look ahead because we will not know where the end is until it has been reached. 

The weight of your burdens, worries, fears, and sins will only slow you down and trip you up. Don’t let these be stones around your neck that wear and beat you down. Stop wasting your energy, time, and strength trying to put out fires around your life that could quickly burn themselves out. Far too often, we’ve spent more time than should ever be allowed on meaningless trivial things because we are caught in the moment. We are trying to rule our lives with an iron fist, clutching ever tightly around every single little detail that we lose energy, focus, and pace in this race. 

Sometimes we carry weight with us because of comfort; maybe it’s all we’ve known. Another reason I believe we hold onto things because they define us and what others have labeled us. 

All past issues, situations, mountains, valleys, battles, and struggles are not what define you! God has called you a NEW creation. What does this mean? It means you, are not you. Drop that shadow that lurks around every corner. Open those windows and let the light of God burst through to expose those lies and falsehoods that the devil seeks to trap you in! The blood of Christ has bought you. At some point, you must rise! The victimhood mentality cannot continue at some point because the Lord has done new work within you. 

There has to be a moment where we are done with what we have been doing and decide that no matter how hard it is or how long it takes, we will rise. We will cast away those fears, worries, and burdens. We will allow Him to continue to shape us as He sees fit and no longer crawl back to our old chains. The blood was, is, and forever will be enough. No longer shall we pity ourselves but instead proclaim His goodness and run this race with our heads lifted high for the glory of God. 

Today, make that decision not only to follow after Him with intent and wholeheartedness. But to cast away everything you’ve dealt with and what people have said about you. Some will see instant results, and others will be a work in progress. Don’t be deterred and discouraged. There are things many of us have struggled with throughout our lives. Do not lose heart! Declare it over you and your family every single day because the chain-breaker calls you, His.

God bless,

Copyright © 2023 by Jacob Olinger

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