“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great 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,”
I have a couple new books that I have started. Yes, I know, I should only read one at a time so that I might finish it. Actually, I should only buy a book AFTER I’ve finished reading the last one I bought. That won’t happen. I have stacks of books that I have every intention of reading. Hah! I guess I am proof that it is worth a publisher’s time to come up with a catchy title. Suckers like me will buy a book knowing full and well it will never get read.
Lately, I’ve started something different buy purchasing audio books. I kinda like this idea because I spend quite a bit of time on a lawn mower or driving my vehicle. I can adjust the playback speed to keep my attention and get through a book much quicker than I would by simply reading it. There is a downside in that I cannot make notes in the margins as I can with paper. On the other hand, I don’t make notes on paper that I don’t read.
The most recent book I’m listening to is called “I Declare War” by Levi Lusko. It’s about dealing with sin. One line that he has was one I have never heard before but is quite clever. It goes like this. Sin starts out as thoughts. Not all thoughts are sin, but some thoughts can warp into it. It’s very interesting how a thought can develop and take a journey one would never expect. Who hasn’t wondered, “How in the world did I end up thinking that?” Well, Lusko describes these as a train of thought. He says, like any train, we need to check the schedule to see where the train is going BEFORE we buy a ticket to ride. Likewise, we need to examine our thought train before hopping aboard. Applied correctly, this will be quite useful.
This analogy breaks down once we get on a train. Real trains have tremendous momentum and are confined to a set of tracks. They are very difficult to stop and even harder to change course. Thought trains may seem like that, but they aren’t. We aren’t at their mercy. We can jump on another train any time we wish.
This is important information. When I slide back into old patterns of behavior, it seems like I am stuck and can’t change anything. It seems like I just need to ride it out. Honestly, that’s baloney. I’m only lying to myself with that line of reasoning. It may not be easy, but I can change my behavior any time I wish. Listen, it may take Jesus to make it happen, but it takes me to cry out to him. If I’m determined to stay stuck in my sin, guess what? I’ll stay stuck.
That’s the message we see in Hebrews 12:1. Here’s a couple more verses.
Hebrews 12:2-6 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
There you have it. If my butt is stuck in a rut, it’s ultimately my own choice.
Father, rattle my cage. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers
Photo credit: simplyblessed.heartsdeesire.com/2013/05/29/ruts-etc/