Imagine this: You and I are standing at the starting line of a 10K run on a crisp clear morning. And we are ready.
We’ve got the right gear.
We’re looking forward to traveling the distance.
Moments before the race begins we see a colorful booth offering “Free Backpacks!” Hmmm. These aren’t your run of the mill backpacks. They’re the designer sort — classy, expensive and impressive. Just imagine what might be inside! Money? Free passes to something fun? Should we grab a couple before we head out? They don’t look too awfully heavy, not more than we can handle, anyway. We still have time to heft them on backs before the starting gun fires.
If the race is really important, those backpacks are a bad idea. They’ll slow us down, make the hills harder, and cause us some pain along the way. Encouraging hugs? Helping hands? Those beautiful packs will keep us from easily giving or receiving either one. We’re better off running the race unencumbered. But, oh, they do look tempting!
Our sins are like those packs. They may look good at first, but they weigh us down and hurt us. They separate us from God, keeping us from doing and being all that he has planned. Sometimes they even open the door to new worries by obscuring our view of the Lord who loves us.
Sin is a choice, and always a sad one in the long run. It keeps us from the joy God means for us to have as we run the race of life. Here’s the good news, though: Christ died to save us not only from the punishment of sin, but from its power over us as well. He bought our freedom from sin now and in eternity. He didn’t leave us to lead hopeless lives of discouragement as we fall into sin over and over again, waiting for deliverance to come when we die.
- Titus 2:12 talks about saying no to ungodliness and living upright lives in this present age.
- Ephesians 4:24 encourages us to put on a new self, one of righteousness and holiness.
- Hebrews 2:18 tells us that, “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).
- Ephesians 6: 10-11 instructs us to, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6: 10-11).
And so, it is time to say no to the “backpacks of sin” and run freely the race God has set for us.