I would like to start by first saying Happy New Year! The beginning of the year often generates a drive toward setting resolutions. The most popular are lose weight, get fit, better financial management, better education, better job, etc. After all, why not a fresh start in a new year? My prayer is that one of your New Year's resolution for 2010 would be to drop off those weights which may hinder you spiritually.
Hebrews 12:1, Therfore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us." (NLT).
Long distance runners work hard to build endurance and strength. On the day of a race their clothes are lightweight and their bodies lean. To run the race that God has set before us, we must also strip off the excess wieght that slows us down. How can we achieve this?
(1) Choose friends who are also committed to the race. The wrong choice of friends with values and behaviors different from our own may prove to be detrimental to our staying the course God has set us on. Much of the weight we carry may result from wrong company.
(2) Refuse to engage in activities which may draw you away from your course. If you're unsure of what that might be or whether it is having an effect on you, set a goal of refraining from it for a time with careful observation to any changes you may notice.
(3) Get immediate help for any addictions that disable you. If your 'secret' weight is such as pornography, gambling, or alcohol, admit your need and get help.
The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up whatever jeopardizes our relationship with God. It requires endurance with a fight against sin through the power of the Holy Spirit. To live victoriously, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We will stumble when we look away from Him. We falter easily when we look to ourselves and the circumstances which surround us. As we run for Christ we must always keep him in sight.
I believe this year will prove to be a year of change, purpose, and promise. However, in order for that to take place we must have a made up mind that "last year's weights will not interfere with what God has for me this year!". Be encouraged to embrace change with a determination to stay focused in 2010.