Throwing Off the Weight
“…Stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith...” (Heb. 12:1&2 Amp.). Obviously, if I am running a race, that is not the time to fasten weights around my ankles. I may do that in the practice run, but that is to only build strength and stamina for the real race. Well, brother and sister, we are in the real race of life. We don’t need things in our lives to weigh us down.
Do we have sin in our lives? When we approach our Lord or even think about approaching Him, do we feel guilt, condemnation, shame, and/or fear? What is it? Let us confess it to Jesus, knowing that He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9). He promised that He would forgive. Don’t allow the devil, anyone else, or even yourself to hold you in doubt that you are forgiven. Resist those thoughts and declare you are forgiven so that you may approach the Lord with confidence (with faith).
How about weights? I was reminded of the story in Mark 10:46-52. (Please look at these passages with me.) The Scripture calls Bartimaeus, “Blind Bartimaeus.” That is what the people called him. He identified with that name because he could not see. In the story, he is sitting at his usual place by the usual highway doing his usual thing; begging. …But something was happening. The crowds near this highway began to shout that Jesus of Nazareth was coming. He had certainly heard about this Miracle Worker. He began to cry out, “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me” (vs. 47). Those around him told him to be quiet, but he cried out even more. Soon, Jesus heard his cry and the Word says that He stood still and called to Bartimaeus. The people near Bartimaeus said to him, “Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.” Now, he could have said, “But, I am blind. I can’t see to go to him.” This was not the case. He couldn’t see Jesus, but he cast off his garment, arose, and went to Him. He may have groped his way towards the voice of Jesus, but He got there.
Jesus said to him, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? (vs. 51). He replied, “Lord, (My Master; his personal faith in Jesus) that I might receive my sight.” You would think that it was obvious that he was blind, but it was important for Bartimaeus to acknowledge his need before the Lord. Jesus replied, “Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole” (vs. 52). Scripture tells us that immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
Bartimaeus was no longer Blind Bartimaeus because he found his way to Jesus. Notice that when he cried out to the Lord, Jesus stood still. Do we not know that when we cry out to him, He stands still? He cries out to you to come to Him. Do we make excuses as to why we can’t go to Him? Are we so accustomed to our usual circumstances, our usual feelings, and our usual emotions, that we remain in our usual defeat? Notice again, Bartimaeus “cast away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus” (vs. 50). He didn’t wait until he could see before he cast away his garment (his past identity) and got up to go to the Lord! This garment that he had worn was issued to him from their government. Everyone seeing this garment knew that he had a disability and had a right to beg next to the highway. Bartimaeus had the call from the Lord, and he chose to throw aside his old identity (Blind Bartimaeus) and the old “usual”; in his throwing away the garment.
Are we identified by a name? …Poor, Depressed, Shamed, Grieved, Sick, Defeated, Sinner, Rejected, etc.? You don’t have to accept that this is who you are. You may respond, “But that is who my mom was, my dad was, my grandparents were, and that is who I am.” Your acceptance of that will hold you in that bondage. It is time that you cry out to Jesus believing that He is willing and able to change your situation. He will stand still for you and call to you to come. Dare to believe Him. Intentionally, throw away the old identity, get up, and by faith move in what naturally speaking you could not do. Jesus didn’t go to Bartimaeus, He called for him to come to Him, even in his blinded condition. Are you doing your “usual”, waiting on Jesus to do something. Throw away your defeated identity, arise, and go to Jesus. He is waiting on you. He is your Deliverer. Amen!