Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Download MP3 (right click to save)
I was with two friends returning from some Native American ministry in the Southwest, and we had a rental car and a four-hour drive to the airport in Phoenix. So we really needed every minute to make our connection, which made the lurch in our car pretty annoying. See, every time the driver would get the speed up to about 60, the car would start shuttering and lurching. Now, there was a 75mph speed limit, and that's frustrating. We weren't sure we'd even make it with that "shake, rattle, and roll" mobile we had.
Well, everyone who knows me knows that I'm not exactly a mechanic. But I did have a scientific idea. I said, "Hey, did you check the emergency brake?" Answer: "No." From that point on we flew to Phoenix! No more lurching, but first we had to release what was holding us back.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Four Ways to Beat What Keeps Beating You."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Hebrews 12:1. It's not about driving full speed, but the same idea - running full speed. "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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."
Okay, let's focus a minute on that "everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles." It makes me think about our lurching drive with the emergency brake on. We had the capability of going a lot faster than we were going, but first we had to release what was holding us back.
Seeing something like that is what will literally unleash your life to be all God needs for it to be; all you want it to be. Every one of us has a fatal flaw. Those fatal flaws are those weaknesses, those sins that just keep recurring. They have become part of us. They're part of who we are most of our lives. It's our way of getting our way, it's our way of meeting needs. Often it's something we grew up on, weaknesses maybe our Dad or our Mom had. We picked it up just because we grew up in that environment.
You might be so used to that sinful attitude or mindset or action it's almost second nature to you. It's just something you've accepted as part of you. This sinful flaw, it's your emergency break holding you back from going full speed. Our spiritual brakes? Well, that could be the way you handle money, or handle acceptance, or relationships, or problems, or stress. Whatever it is, it's sin that entangles.
The spiritual break-out comes when you decide not to accept that hindering sin any more, not to tolerate it any more. You're trying to drive with the brake on. And how do you release the spiritual emergency brake? The Bible says, "throw it off." The final discarding of it.
Then there are several steps; a process. First, you repent of that sin. That means you literally bring it to the cross of Jesus and you leave it there; feeling so bad about that sin that you now set up your life in such a way it's going to be very hard for you to do this any more. Then secondly, you release the sin. You admit to Jesus, "I'm powerless to beat this." You admit you've got a battle. You call it the sin that He calls it. And then each new day you surrender that weakness, that sin, to Jesus for Him to change it and control it those twenty-four hours.
Thirdly, you resist the sin. You run from any opportunity to do it, to feed it. You fight it at the very first moment it shows up. And finally, you restore what sin has damaged. Apologize to the people you've hurt, pay back anyone that you've wronged and make things right.
Those are powerful steps to getting free. Maybe you've never tasted that freedom before. That day in the lurching car, we made so much more progress when we realized what was holding us back and we dealt with it. Aren't you tired of this bumpy slowed-down trip you've been on? This might be your day to reach once and for all for the brake that has been holding you back and finally let it go.