Written by: Rich Helpman

Morning and Evening Meditation

Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV: Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Pray: Lord, show me what is in the way, an easily ensnaring sin, or a weight that may be bogging me down. Show me the path of the righteous that shines bright and looks unto Jesus. Help me to have endurance for my race, so I may complete my faith; my words and deeds together giving you glory.

Devotional

Our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.  From his perspective the next best thing to being unsaved is being an ineffective Christian. Many times he renders us ineffective through distractions.

Consider: The heavens are always declaring the glory of God. (Psalm19:1-4) What may be known about God is clearly manifested, and His attributes are able to be clearly seen and understood through creation.  (Romans 1:19, 20)               

So, if the voice of heaven and the created world are declaring the glory and power of God, and I'm not hearing or noticing, what's in the way? Distractions. Many people reject God at this level.  Romans 1 and 2 describe these people as those who knew God but did not glorify Him as God. They loved pleasure rather than God. Distracted by their sin and it's pleasure. We should lay aside sin so we can run!Perhaps our faith has brought us to a place where we are closer to God and can hear His voice more clearly.

Consider: “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake.” John 12:27-30 NKJV

What a blessing to hear the voice of the Father answering the prayer of Jesus for our sake! But notice that some attributed the voice to thunder or to an angel. They heard the voice, but did not understand the voice. What was the cause of their confusion? Distractions. Their faith had brought them to the presence of Jesus as a spectator of his ministry, but not yet to maturity, not yet to full understanding. Many are stuck here in their walk with God by distractions. Have you ever been in a service and forgotten the songs that were sung, or the message that was preached?  Are you more Martha than Mary? Worried about many things when only one thing is necessary? We should lay aside the weight of "busyness" so we can run!

Perhaps our faith has brought us into a deeper relationship that allows us to not only acknowledge God's glory, and not only hear His voice, but truly understand what He is saying to us. We know who He is and what He expects of us, His gifts and calling in our lives.

Consider: “Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!” Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’” Luke 14:15-20 NKJV

Invited guests to the supper in the Kingdom of God over time became more interested in the things of this world. Possessions, business, and family all became more important than feasting with the King.  Not flagrant sin, but the "cares of this world" and the "deceitfulness of riches" grew up and choked the Word (Matt. 13:22). Distractions. Right up until the time of the Wedding of the Lamb, distractions are to be guarded against. 

Our enemy is wily and restless, and comes subtly, not in a red suit with a pitchfork! He disguises himself as an angel of light and speaks deceiving words like, "your sin is not that bad, after all, others have done worse things", and "these worldly possessions and pursuits are not evil, God understands your divided devotion".

Oh beloved, may we hear the Word of the Lord and lay everything aside! May we run without hindrance the race set before us! And may we be faithful to the end and hear Him say, "Well done good and faithful servant!"

Question

What is MY hindrance?

Prayer Challenge

"Lord, show me what is in the way, and give me a willing spirit to accept Your direction."

Next Step

Make a permanent change regarding what is arresting your spiritual growth, because you love Him!