I grew up participating in company and church picnics and we always had the opportunity to participate in fun picnic games like the “Three Legged Race”. First you had to find a partner and then if you had time you would tie one of each of your legs together and practice trying to walk or run together. It always looks so easy, until you actually start trying to move. Pretty soon you find out that you are not coordinating steps, or maybe one of you is bigger than another and your balance is thrown off. Without a good amount of time to practice, you might find you are falling down a lot while you are in the race.
Many Christians tend to go through their spiritual life like they are in a three-legged race. They tie themselves to things in life that encumber or hinder them. They drag around sin, old habits and bad habits, as a prisoner drags a ball and chain while they work on the chain gang. Christ has called us to a life a freedom from the things that hinder or encumber our walk with the Lord. A hindrance in our lives is something that is obvious. It is a known sin. An encumbrance is anything that might be more subtle that is hurting our walk with the Lord. For example, maybe we don’t realize that we need to read our Bibles regularly or fellowship with other Believers, so we can grow. Read Hebrews 1: 1-2.
1 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.
The Apostle Paul reminds us in these verses that we need to lay aside those weights and sins, because they ensnare us or entangle us. Have you ever watched people fall down during a three legged race? Before you know it they look all tangled up in each other as they try to get back up to run the race. Many don’t make it back up. So take Paul’s wise advice and ask God to reveal those sins in your life that are hindering you and to reveal those habits that might be encumbering you. Then ask God to help you lay them aside so you can run the race.