“Let us strip off every weight that slows us down…”
When the workout begins it's time to run to the resistance in front of us. Competitors embrace the adversity. Fighters appreciate the challenge. So we pick up weights when it's time to compete. But the Bible also reminds us to “lay aside weights” in order to compete at our best. What are the weights we must lay aside? What could weigh us down as we attempt to run?
Just like a competitor seeks light, functional clothing to ensure the best performance, believers must lay aside anything that keeps them from functioning at full capacity in life. Paul said this approach to life is like the athlete who approaches the start line and forgets what is behind, straining forward to what is ahead. The competitor aggressively pursues the only thing that matters on gameday! We “pursue the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
What are the weights that need to be dropped today for you to compete at your best? Are they the weights of acceptance in the eyes of those around you? Could they be the weights of comparison to those next to you? What about the weights of yesterday's sin or tomorrow's fear? They could even be the weights of past performance, whether positive or negative. None of these weights help us in the moment of competition. We need freedom to pursue our goal. Drop what keeps your eyes on anything other than the prize!
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” – Hebrews 12:1-3 MSG
1- On the day of competition, what is different about your clothing?
2- What weights need to be dropped today to compete at your best – others' approval, comparison, past successes, past failures?
3- Take a few minutes and pray to God. Give Him these weights by asking for focus on Jesus and His acceptance of you before you compete.