‘Make Christ in you even more real.’
For the past few Sundays, Pastor Vickylextar has shared a scripture with us consistently:
Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also get rid of every weight and entangling sin. Let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2 focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2 TLV
Following the testimonies of faith listed in Hebrews Chapter 11, we are given an understanding of what our responsibility is, to run the race that is set before us – get rid of every weight and entangling sin.
Get rid of every weight.
In February 2020, Pastor Jonathan shared this scripture in a message, and he provided a vivid illustration of what this was. He told us that in ancient times athletes used to run naked. They did so as even the extra weight of clothing could make a difference in their performance. This explanation brought this scripture to life as it made me realize that even a fraction of a pound of weight (whether it be bad habits, lies, addictions, even social media etc.) even a fraction of a pound of this weight can impede my performance as a Christian.
For me, the weights are the things that distract me from the path God has called me to. This weight presents itself often in mind – doubt, regret, and remorse. I have had to learn to get rid of these weights to ensure that I’m running my race with endurance instead of focusing on what was meant to derail me and lose my focus. Instead, I choose to focus on Christ in me – Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of my faith!
The word entanglement was all over the media this summer. I will not get into that… Let’s focus on what is an entanglement.
In other words, certain sins have become so ingrained and a part of a person that they have now become difficult to escape from.
When I read this verse in the past, I would always say things of major sins that have now formed into habits or addictions, but in listening to Pastor Vickylextar on Sunday, she emphasized self-centeredness.
I am often guilty of this; I like to do things are a certain way. It works that way, and I stick to it, and I often even want people to conform to my system. It dawned on me on Sunday that this is not a denial of self.
Mark 8:34 TLV… “If anyone wants to follow after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and keep following Me.
I realized that to make Christ more real, my heart must be open enough to let him have complete mastery over my thoughts, beliefs, and mind. I shouldn’t only recite a prayer or a confession but live like Him daily, even when it comes to the smallest decisions.
– Lissa Appiah, November 7, 2020