Discipline: Strip Down

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Some people get the wrong idea about Christianity. They think you have to check your competitiveness at the door to Jesus’ house. If that’s true, why does the Bible use so many sports metaphors? The writer of this passage wants to reach out and yank on your need to compete, to do your best, to win.

trail_350He says, “All the old champions are at the race today. The legends of the game are in the stands. Their pictures are all in the trophy case. I hope you’re up to the challenge!”

You can almost hear your favorite coach’s voice: “Are you serious about doing well? Then dress like it. Strip down before the race starts!” In this Bible culture of long, flowing robes, it was normal for runners – the serious ones – to compete naked. Even most runners today wear next to nothing. Those jeans, hiking boots, and sweatshirts can only slow you down and trip you up.

If you’re serious about trusting God – about stepping up to the faith of the champions – strip your life of all the sin and unnecessary baggage you can find. It can only get in the way. Don’t wait. The champions are watching.

Think: Is it okay to use competition as a motive for trusting God more? Why or why not?

Pray: Ask God to show you any sin or worthless stuff in your life that’s slowing you down on the race he has marked out for you – then ask him for the strength to leave it behind.

Do: Briefly write: a) what is the course God has marked out for you today and b) how will you need to trust him to run it well?