Wanna Go for a Run? blog
When I was a boy, we lived inside the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard when I was aged 8 – 13. Before I received a bicycle, when I turned 12, my mode of transportation was my own two feet. I was probably wearing Converse sneakers made primarily for basketball but whoever thought of having multiple pairs of shoes in 1965.
Regardless of what was on my feet, I loved to run and that was probably because I was fast. I would get what I called “the feeling” and it seemed like I could run for hours. At school on the playground, I could beat the 5th graders when I was in 3rd grade. That was probably because I was so skinny my wind resistance was less than theirs.
I don’t physically run anymore. On the treadmill to warm at the gym, I might walk a decent pace but going out and actually running? I could probably make it to the end of my driveway … like 30 feet?
This past week we looked at how critical faith is to our recovery. God is in the process of healing us and for that to continue to happen we must believe that our healing from sexual brokenness is possible and that He wants to do that in us. For all of us, that means it will take some faith to believe that because we do not necessarily see that happening, at least not fast enough.
We know it is God’s will for us to walk in sexual purity because He says so clearly in 1 Thessalonians 4:3;
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification;
that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;”
Paul writes to Timothy these words in 2 Timothy 2:22
“Now flee from youthful lusts
and pursue righteousness, faith,
love and peace,
with those who call on the Lord
from a pure heart.”
To abstain means to stay away from it. To flee means to run away from something. And the two of those things go together. If we flee … we will abstain. If we do not flee … we will not abstain … and we will fall.
The problem with fleeing today is that it cannot be done. Porn has become almost as omnipresent as God. I can find it almost anywhere I can get an internet connection. If there is no Wi-Fi connection I can download and view images and movies on my phone, something we could have never imagined in the 1960s. Most did not even have color TVs.
However, even before the internet, smartphones, tablets, TV’s, movies, adult bookstores, x rated videos and adult films and even the Sears catalog … we still had our minds. We have always had the capacity to see something sexual and carry that image in our brains and then build a whole fantasy around it.
No matter where we are in our journey of recovery every day, we are to live in the faith that God is going to heal us. Which is the way Hebrews 12 starts off saying;
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
It is time for all of us to keep running this race God has for us. But we cannot run if we are
encumbered and entangled.
This word encumbrance is only used one time in the Bible, but it was used to mean anything that would be a bulk or mass that would weigh a person down. It could be a physical mass of extra weight one is carrying. It could also represent a mass of emotional weight or what we call baggage.
It could also be used to refer to anything that is keeping us from doing what God really wants us to do. A mass of time that is devoted to worthless things that have no valuable return like binging on entertainment, social media, or video games. It could even be a hobby that has become an obsession like playing golf or watching sports. These are all external things to which we give our time and energy and they encumber our spiritual growth.
Have you ever noticed that nobody who runs in a race in the Olympics is carrying their smartphone with them? Just a thought.
We all say we want to stop falling into sexual sin … but what encumbrance is holding you back? Ask the Lord. Ask your friends or accountability team. Get a friends perspective who is outside of your ability to rationalize and deny.
Next week we will continue this and go further into those things that so easily entangle us.