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Friday, August 30, 2013

Quiet Time: Tangle Free Living; Unencumbered

Tangle Free Living


Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us – Hebrews 12:1

I recently finished reading "Awol on the Appalachian Trail" a book by David Miller who through hiked the 2000+ mile trail from Georgia to Maine. He began the trail with heavy pack of provisions and miscellaneous camping gear but pared it down to the bare essentials before he was half way through his journey. Every unessential ounce was considered a needless burden, an encumbrance, that would slow his progress from reaching the ultimate goal of finishing the hike before winter.

That's kind of a funny word, isn't it? "Encumbrance" You don't hear much about  encumbrances or sins these days; much less setting anything aside. It seems like only pro athletes and master artists are expected to lay something aside to pursue a prize, which is usually an abundance of money, fame, or  stuff. 

Yet, here I am; a common everyday man, being challenged to “lay aside encumbrances and sins”. That is astonishing! My life and the way I live it actually matter to God. It's as if He knows that too much of a good thing can be bad for me. Imagine that.

Since I like making lists and checking things off, I thought it might help me better understand the meaning of Hebrews 12:1 if I listed the biblical cross references that seem to shed more light on the subject. So, here’s my “Things to Toss” list:

Get rid of:

  • Unhealthy relationships (codependent) (Matthew 10:37-38)
  • Worries, riches and pleasures. (Luke 8:14)
  • Abundance and superfluous possessions. (Luke 12:15)
  • Worldly lusts (Romans 13:13-14)
  • Defilement (2 Cor. 7:1)
  • Wanting riches (1 Timothy 6:9)
  • Malice (a desire to harm another) deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander (malicious rumors) (1 Peter 2:1)
  • Loving the world: an intense desire for having what the world has to offer and a “look at me” attitude. (1 John 2:15-16)

Well, that’s a fairly straight forward list of things not to pack on this journey with Jesus; the “Don’ts” if you will. But, being the kind of Christ follower who likes to have some “Do’s”, I suppose the next step is to make a list of things to insure are included in my daily walk with God. 

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