Don't Give Up
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. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
Painting a house is hard work. You first have to strip off the old paint and prepare the surface for the new coat of paint. Back and forth, pressing in, the old paint chips away. In the summer heat, this can be back breaking work. Hours and hours of refocusing on the prize. As the time passes wanting to quit, but instead persevering until the end! Finally complete it is all worth it! Standing back looking at the fresh, new paint, brings pride in the work and a pat on the back for a job well done. Everyone rejoices!
Hebrews 12 tells us to “strip off every weight that slows us down”. Hard work, long hours, back breaking at times is our walk with Christ as we surrender our will for His. Constantly encouraging ourselves to press on, persevere, keeping our eyes on the eternal prize. Growing in the things of God takes and intentional, faithful pursuit of His presence.
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? Hebrews 12:7
Don’t give up! Culture tells us we should pursue what makes us feel good and what brings momentary happiness. The problem with this lie is the things of the world never satisfy. We are eternal beings, created to partner with a supernatural God. Only the creator understands what the created truly needs. When we waste our days chasing the world, we end up with endless cravings and deeper deceit. Counterfeit peace.
The road to growth is challenging but nothing compares to being shaped and molded by the hands of God. Divine discipline shapes us for heaven’s design. As His hands reach down it can be uncomfortable, and uncommon but when our eyes turn on Him all that competes begins to dim.
God’s discipline is always good for us. Painful yes. Enjoyable, not always. “But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living” (Hebrews 12:11). Satan will whisper lies to push you off the straight path. Saying "walk away its painful", but I want to encourage you to walk toward the pain of the peaceful harvest. Renew your grip and gather together with others sold out to prayer.
“Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong” (Hebrews 12:13).
Nothing compares to the presence of God and His Glory is worth fighting for. Release your pride, and rebellion. When your carnal mind rises up, cast it down and lift your voice in praise. We are set apart for His purpose and time rushes whether we follow his ways or turn away. Develop a plan and persevere with an intentional, faithful, pursuit.
Surrender your life to divine discipline; daily pouring it upon the altar Worshiping the unshakable God. Painting a house is backbreaking, but the finished product is worth the soreness and pain. Better is one day in His courts than a thousand spent seeking earthly praise. Pick up the tools of prayer and study of His word. Scrape your earthen vessel clean and prepare for a new coat of paint!
“He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!” Hebrews 12:28b-29