“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2a
Recently I read an article about an 82-year-old woman who beat an intruder who broke into her home. Unfortunately for the intruder she said, “He picked the wrong house to break into” because by the time she finished with him he had to be taken to the hospital for treatment, the result of the severe beating she gave him. It’s hard to believe that an 82 year old could stand a chance against any man (the article said he was a young man) however what the intruder didn’t know was that she is an award winning body builder able to deadlift 225 pounds.
I’m pretty confident in saying that this woman didn’t just one day go in the gym and pick up 225 pounds. It was probably a gradual process whereby she started at a place where it was comfortable and gradually she gained the strength to pick up a little bit more and a little bit more. Our flesh is weak and so is our spirit. However with the proper training and guidance it can be trained and built up to handle so much more.
Before we came to Christ our lives were heavy with the burden of sin, we were morally corrupt. There were times we may have felt we didn’t have the strength to move forward or that God could see any value in us. And others often found the need to remind us of your past transgressions or of our moral turpitude (e.g. wickedness, immorality). The flesh, our sin nature is offensive to God and Apostle Paul clearly understood this:
“Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7:21b-25a)!”
The weight of sin can kill us spiritually however we have hope. Overcoming spiritual death is similar to building physical muscle. Every time you face a situation where you have opportunity to choose right or wrong you are experiencing spiritual weight training. When successful, you are able to resist sin a little bit more. Don’t fret if you have setbacks. Setbacks are opportunities to gain more strength. Setbacks are representative of the warring that continually occurs between the spirit and the flesh. The more you grow in spiritual strength the more you will be able to resist the things that at one time pulled you back into immoral behavior.
The weight of sin destroys life but our God is more powerful than sins grasp. If you’re feeling spiritually weak it may be time to go to the spiritual weight room (e.g. the bible, the prayer room, corporate worship etc.). It is there where you’ll find the equipment needed to gain the strength to defeat the sin that seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
Just like that 82-year-old you’ll be able to tell the enemy “you picked the wrong one today”!