Laying Aside Every Weight - Part One

Do you ever feel weighed down

while trying to run this race

called the Christian life? 

Wherefore seeing we also
are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience
the race that is set before us,
— Hebrews 12:1

           I definitely know what it feels like! That’s why I’m beginning a new series of posts on “Laying aside every weight.”  I’ll be sharing with you some of the weights in my own life and the ways God is teaching me to lay them aside. Those weights can be besetting sins or burdens from trials we are going through. These posts will be designed to encourage, inspire, and better equip you to lay aside the weights in your life too!

And the Best Part?

We don’t have to lay those weights aside in our own power!

Jesus tells us:

Come unto me, all ye that labour
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.
— Matthew 11:28-30

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 Part One:

Seeing the Excuse

for the Sin It Really Is

           

Deep breath…here goes! : )

          I’ll begin this series of posts with the very first lesson that the Lord is teaching me as a new blogger.  If you read my last post: “Breaking Through Writer’s Block,” then you already know about my struggle finding the inspiration to write.  But the Lord has a way of taking the very things we are facing and using them to draw us closer to Himself, while helping us see the true condition of our own heart...

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For about ten months before launching this blog, I did alot of research on how to have a successful Christian blog.  I invested in some blogging resources: “Building A Framework” and “Christian Bloggers Bootcamp”.  Both have been a blessing with a great wealth of information and encouragement!  Next, I bought this domain, began setting up the website, set a date to launch it, and got the first four posts ready to publish.

All seemed to be going fine...that is, until the month of October turned into a dry and thirsty land for me as a writer! 

           While I spent time building my social media platform and getting to know other bloggers—I failed to invest any time into my own writing.  Finally, out of desperation, I published my post on having writer's block. 

          The Lord began dealing with me as soon as I published that post.  He humbled me to the point that I just wanted to write for Him---no matter what anybody else thought about my writing.  He showed me that my excuse of not having any inspiration, was much deeper... 

       My problem was that I was too focused on man's approval.  Coveting man's approval has been a besetting sin in my life.  That sin has been weighing me down and hindering me as I try to serve God in the very thing He has called me to do—write for His glory!

My excuse was really a sin that I struggle with: "Coveting man’s approval."

           I have struggled with that sin for most of my life.  I think it all started as far back as when I was growing up and our family moved alot. In fact, I went to ten different schools, as many as three different ones in the same year! Being the “new kid” over and over again really did a number on my self-image and I found myself always worrying what others thought about me.

         This “weight” is the first thing the Lord is dealing with me about as a new blogger.  I found some verses that really helped me understand why coveting man’s approval is a sin and how to overcome it:

Let your conversation be without covetousness;
and be content with such things as ye have:
for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
— Hebrews 13:5-6
Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth.
— Colossians 3:2

              In order to apply those verses to my life, I have to focus on pleasing God instead of setting my affection on man’s approval.  I didn’t know that starting a new blog would be something God would be using to mold and refine me with so soon.

Surprise! : )

          How about you? Has God been revealing a sin that is weighing you down? Maybe it's something you have tried to overcome for many years too.  What can we do once God reveals our sin to us? Or maybe the weight you carry is from a another burden you have?  How do we overcome besetting sins or burdens from trials we are going through?

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
— Hebrews 4:16
Nay, in all these things
we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us.
— Romans 8:37
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
— 1 John 1:9

         We can place our sins at the foot of Jesus' Cross, where we see our sin for the sin God says it is, confess it, ask Him for forgiveness and receive His cleansing through His shed blood.

         From there we can begin guarding our hearts from that sin, while actively overcoming evil with good. That’s the same way God delivered me from the stronghold of addiction nine years ago.

         We can cast our burdens on Jesus and receive comfort and His grace to continue on our Christian journey.

If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed!

             This past week as the Lord showed me the truth about my sin, I confessed it for the sin it is, asked for forgiveness, and received His cleansing!  Now each time I write a new post, it will be another opportunity for me to remember that by God’s grace, I’ve laid that “weight” aside!          

             As I was thinking about writing this post today, I went for a walk outside to get some fresh air and sunshine.  Whatever I write has to come from my time with the Lord, and I never feel closer to Him than when I’m outdoors soaking up His beautiful creation! 

         While I was walking, He brought to my mind the verse about being ‘heavy laden’…and how He wants us to come to Him for rest.  It was such a blessing, the thought of Him taking my burdens so I don’t have to be weighed down with them.  

          I think that is the encouragement God has laid on my heart for you as well.  Jesus invites us to come to Him.  Whether it’s the burden of a besetting sin, or a trial you're going through that's weighing you down, Jesus stands waiting for you to come to Him and He will give you rest!

Let’s lay aside every weight today, and walk in all the victory that Jesus won for us on the Cross of Calvary!