What a Heavy Backpack Teaches Us About Pursuing Jesus
I have class every day at the University that I attend. Unfortunately, the parking lot my brother and I park at feels like it’s about eight miles away from everything else. I clocked it once and it’s a little over half a mile from the nearest point of interest, and that point is still quite a ways from where my classes are located.
Walking half a mile is easy if you know how to handle boredom, but that was not the problem.
The problem was the 20lb backpack I carried every day.
The walk wouldn’t be near the struggle if I did not have this huge backpack with my heavy laptop, notebooks, class notes, sometimes a big textbook, a liter of water, etc.
One of the days I was walking, it occurred to me how this was similar to sin. Sin weighs us down from running the race that God has set before us.
Now, of course the analogy breaks down at some point. I need to have my backpack with me for school, and I never need sin. However, the point remains: I cannot run a race with a heavy backpack. Neither can we expect to run the race of life with sin and other distractions weighing us down.
I love this verse so much:
“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Let’s break this down quick into two categories: What we are supposed to do, and how we are supposed to do it.
1. Lay aside every encumbrance
These things are not sin in of themselves. They’re not inherently sinful. However, because they hinder our race of pursuing Jesus with our whole heart, they become sin.
What might these things be?
It can look very different person to person, but everyone has several things in their life that is a hindrance. Something that bogs us down like a heavy backpack.
Olympic track athletes don’t compete with heavy backpacks. They compete in embarrassingly short shorts—because they are trying to everything that might keep them from running their best.
2. Lay aside the sin
These are the things that ARE inherently sinful. They are sin, and so we must lay them aside. These could be:
Whatever it is for you, these are big issues that must be dealt with.
3. Run with endurance
Run without giving up! We are supposed to run as for the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24). This isn’t some fun-run, mama-with-a-stroller type of race. This is a lifelong race running toward the goal: knowing Jesus Christ.
How in the world do we lay aside encumbrances and sin, and run the race with endurance? This verse doesn’t just give us commands, it shows us HOW to do what it commands.
1. Fix our eyes on WHO Jesus is
He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Jesus is the One who will bring this struggle with sin to an end. He will finish the work He has started in us (Philippians 1:6). He is the Author, the One who started it, and the Perfecter, the One who will finish it.
A heart that has set its eyes upon the face of Jesus and who believes what He says will be a heart that grows to hate sin more every day and loves the things of God more every day.
When we see who Jesus is, then we will not be tempted to sin. Because He is so much better.
2. Fix our eyes on WHAT Jesus has done
Jesus endured the cross because of the joy of reconciling you to God. He despised the shame. And then He sat down at the right hand of God.
Jesus endured far more than you or I ever will. He set His face to the reward. He has justified us before God so that we have been declared righteous. Now He is in heaven in glory. We do not serve a dead King. We serve a risen Savior.
He did all of this.
We have do to nothing more to be saved than have faith in what He has done. We do not have to work for our salvation (Ephesians 2:1-10). We can rest in the completed and finished work of the cross.
Ladies, we no longer have to carry heavy burdens of sin. We can surrender those to God and run our race with endurance because of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
What are some common things that girls struggle with when it comes to sin and hindrances? What attributes of Jesus give you the most comfort? Share in the comments!
Anastasis Faith is a Texas girl who heads up Morning Glory Ministries and the Morning Glory Daily Devotional. You can connect with her on her blog MorningGloryPursuingJesus.blogspot.com or on Instagram @anastasisfaith. When she is not busy orking and attending college, she is blogging, writing, reading, or practicing piano.