Hebrews 12:1 – Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Have you ever stopped to wonder what sin the writer of Hebrew is referring to? I have! And since I have, I’d like to share that with you!
Let’s remember for a moment what precedes this verse, Hebrews 11. I believe every one calls this chapter the faith chapter. It begins with verse one, where faith is described. Now faith is…and continues throughout the rest of the chapter reminding us of the mighty victories that faith brought into the lives of different ones. By faith Abel did this, and Abraham did that, and Sarah did this, and so forth and so on.
Then we come to our verse in chapter 12. Let me remind you that they didn’t write in chapter and verse when scripture was written. Chapters and verses were later added to help us to easily identify different passages in the Bible. So this verse is not a different thought, but a continuation of a thought.
As a matter of fact, it is easy to see that the writer of Hebrews is still addressing the subject of faith, for his first word in this chapter is therefore. Therefore, what? Therefore means “for that reason” or “consequently” and Kenneth Copeland is known for saying, “When you see the word “therefore”, see what it is there for! The writer is saying, “for this reason, because so many have won victories through faith, you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. People whose very lives are a testament to the fact that faith works. That what Jesus said to us, “If you can believe, all things are possible” is a true statement! That what the writer said earlier, that faith pleases the heart of God is where we need to be.
Therefore lay aside every weight!!! Lay aside every single thing that hinders you and keep you from obtaining what you ask for in faith! Lay it aside. Weights can be drugs, pornography, homosexuality, divorce, lying, grief, people…those things that cause us to feel as if God isn’t real, the word doesn’t work, or there is no hope for us. Those things that make us feel as if we will never be free, we will never have the victory, we will never experience the kingdom, we will never amount to anything! Those are weights, and it is time to lay them aside!
So now you might be asking, aren’t these are sins? Yes they are, but they are not the besetting sin. You see, this besetting sin is singular. Meaning everyone can have this same sin to entangle them, beset them. And if you haven’t guessed it yet, I will now reveal it. The besetting sin is the sin of unbelief! Let me show you how I figure that to be.
As I already mentioned, Hebrews 11 is all about those who conquered “weights” with their faith. Isn’t the death of a loved one a weight? If you don’t think so, try losing someone dear to you, you’ll recognize how hard it can be to get up the next day or to carry on. Or how about the desire for a baby and you can’t seem to have one? It’s a weight. What about being strung out with an addiction? It’s a weight for the individual and the family of the individual. What gives power to these weights? Unbelief! These weights are so burdensome they have us questioning the word, questioning our salvation, questioning our faith, questioning God. And in many cases, abandoning them.
And if that doesn’t convince you that unbelief is the besetting sin, then look at verse 2: “Looking unto Jesus, the author and developer of our faith!” Well, why am I looking to Him? Because of His role in our life of faith! Don’t shout me down!! Something that is besetting is something that is persistent in threatening us or causing us trouble. Unbelief does an outstanding job at threatening our life of faith. As a matter of fact, unbelief short circuits faith every single time!! So we are encouraged to lay unbelief aside. We absolutely must lay it aside if we want to have life more abundantly in the kingdom!
Over and over in the gospel Jesus was grieved over unbelief. He is hindered, even as the Almighty, by unbelief. Unbelief constant threatens our walk with the Lord. Unbelief constantly threatens every promise, and is a constant threat to the abundant life promised us.
Once we lay aside the weights and the besetting sin, we are on our way to the abundant life. Then we can run this race that is set before us, and we can run it with endurance. We can go the distance! Because faith fuels our life with hope, with joy, with peace, with confidence, with excitement…
Let’s recap: weights are those things that make you feel like you are never going to overcome in this life and unbelief is the thing that keeps those weights hanging around. Throw away your unbelief and your weights today and look to Jesus, the developer of your faith. He’ll help you to believe you can live free of it all! Wonderful Jesus!