The past few months, I have been stuck in Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
It’s a challenging response to great stories of faith — to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, so we can run fully after God.
The longer I study this verse, the more I love Paul’s choice of words.
The word translated above as entangles, is a Greek word meaning skillfully surrounds, and prevent from running.
It accurately describes what sin does to us.
The minute we allow sin into our lives, it grabs hold, and works itself throughout our entire lives — our thoughts, our hearts, our actions. It begins to bind us, slowly and, sometimes, unnoticeably, restricting us.
Much like wrapping yourself up with twine.
At first it’s an inconvenience. We feel it there, but it doesn’t really stop us from chasing after God.
The longer the sin remains though, the tighter it’s grip becomes — working it’s way around us until our arms, legs, and heart are so restricted, we can’t even walk after God, let alone run.
Sin surrounds us.
But Paul doesn’t say it just surrounds us. It does so much more than that.
Sin skillfully surrounds us.
It has a single mission — to surround you so skillfully that you stop running after God and His call on your life. Tweet This
The enemy knows exactly the temptation and sin to place in front of you. He knows the temptations you are bent toward taking, and the temptations that don’t entice you at all.
And he’ll do everything he can to place the right temptations in your life at the right time — until you are skillfully surrounded and can’t run anymore.
Paul tells us what we are to do with that sin.
Throw it off.
Don’t just hope it works itself out of your life. Don’t just ask friends and family for prayer. Don’t go around telling people you’re struggling and just need encouragement.
Wad it up and throw it as far away from yourself as possible.
Otherwise, it will continue to surround you until your heart, passion, and desire for God and His call on your life are completely gone.
What areas of sin are trying to skillfully surround you? Leave a comment below.
[Picture taken during a similar message at the Ignite Encounter Retreat]