Do you struggle against sin? I don’t know your response, but I know that mine is YES! In Hebrews 12 the author tells us that since we have a great host or cloud of witnesses in heaven, “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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggles you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addressed you as sons: ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.’ Endure hardship as discipline. God is treating you as sons.” (Hebrews 12:1b-7).
What an incredible passage. God is working in us to perfect us and give us endurance to resist sinful choices. Yes, we choose our way, even if someone sins against us, we still choose our response. By faith we make decisions to obey and follow God’s commandments. Paul also used this race metaphor in 1 Timothy 4:7 saying, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” He admonishes the Galatians that as they run the race to listen to the truth and not the world or our sinful desires that act like yeast and puff us up. In Galatians 5 Paul tells us that Christ has set us free, so we must stand firm in faith and not be burdened by sin.
God has given us the strength through the indwelling Holy Spirit to stand and decide to obey. Don’t do anything in the dark that you would not do in the light. It will be found out. God will reveal our sin. Don’t hide it, but confess it to God and another godly person that they may encourage you as you walk in the way God designed. As my book of the same name quotes from Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or the left, you will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” In His still small voice through the Holy Spirit, God is guiding us. Read the word and know the truth. C.S. Lewis tells us in The Problem of Pain, that God whispers in our good times (possibly sin) and yells in our pain.
Sin always takes us further and deeper than we planned. It works that way because Satan urges and convinces us of its benefits. But it will never work out well, unless we confess and change. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind as Paul says in Romans 12:2, so that you will become living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God and not conforming to this world, but knowing and doing God’s good and perfect will.