Picture this. My youngest, Connor, absolutely loves his cars... I mean to the point of obsession. Ever since I can remember, he has to have at least one hot wheels car in his hand at all times. Many times it's a car between each finger. Sometimes it's even with both hands. They are the first thing he asks for when he wakes in the morning. And what he wants when he is upset. Thankfully, I did put my foot down very early on and he doesn't sleep with or sit at the table to eat with them. However, he has to keep them close by where he can see them.
They are his comfort... his treasure. Something he refuses to let go of...They can also be something that holds him back. He doesn't want to let go of them for anything: to clean up, get dressed, go to the potty, take a drink from his cup (wish I had a picture to show of this one), ride his big wheel, play sports, swim, climb things, etc. As you can imagine, this slows him down and might even cause him harm. I want to take them from his hands for his own good, but all he can focus on is his cars... He puts up a huge fight. If I ask him to put them down instead of just taking them, he will eventually put them down but only in a spot he determines (so he still has control) and only for a short time. And, this is ONLY if and when I ask him to. If I don't ask, he continues to try and do whatever task he's working on with them in his hands.
Do you see where I am going with this? This is a beautiful example that we can all learn from. We aren't much different. Our "cars" can be good things or bad things. They can be "sin(s) or weight(s)**". We all have at least one sin or weight that holds us back. It can vary from the intangible like thoughts, struggles, grudges, burdens, responsibilities, wrong perspectives or mindsets; to the tangible like addictions, proximity to certain people, co-dependency on spouse, children, money, jobs, things, etc. It's what we find our identity in or security in ... anything that we cannot let go of, so instead, we carry around with us whether we mean to or not. It's what consumes us. They slow us down, hold us back, harm us and keep us from so many things ... including God. He knows what it is doing to us, be we cannot see it because we are so focused on it. He knows that if we would just let them go or give them to Him, we could do and be so much more.
What are your "cars"? What do you carry around that holds you back? Consumes you? Can bring you harm?
Hebrews 12:1-2 ...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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (emphasis mine)
What has God been telling you to put down so you can run your race with perseverance and fix your eyes on Him? Are you putting them down sometimes but only when you can still see and control them?
If you don't know what it is, ask God to reveal them to you. He knows us much better than we know ourselves.
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart: test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Begin to be aware of these things and how they can affect you and your walk. Whether it's sin or just a weight, practice handing it over to God by declaring it through prayer. Speak it everytime it tries to take hold. If it's a tangible thing, ask for the strength and wisdom to distance yourself from it.
** Christine Caine, founder of A21 Campaign - the fight to abolish human trafficking, spoke at our church recently on this subject as well as her organization. Click here to listen.