It’s not in Trying but in Trusting

Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Lay Aside Every Weight and Sin

When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, we are crucified with him in death to sin. Our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but so we will now become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which we ought to be committed, so that having been set free from sin we will now become slaves of righteousness (Rom 6:1-23).

Therefore, sin is to no longer reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. It is to no longer have dominion (control) over us. We are to no longer continue in sin, living to please the lusts of the flesh. For if we present ourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, we are slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and sanctification and eternal life (Rom 6:12-23).

So, we are to lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, so that we can run with endurance the race that God has set before us. And this means that we are not only to die with Christ to sin once, but daily by the Spirit we are to be denying our flesh and dying with Christ to sin and to self and walking in obedience to his commands. And we are to be casting off anything which is leading us into sin or is drawing us away from Christ.

Many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are still living in habitual and deliberate sin, either because they have bought into the lies which tell them that they don’t have to forsake their sins (repent) or because they are unwilling to make the necessary cuts in their lives to prevent them from returning to the same sins over and over again, because, in reality, they still want to hold on to those pet sins while claiming faith in Jesus.

But it doesn’t work that way. We can’t claim faith in Jesus Christ and him as our Lord and heaven as our eternal destiny if we are not willing to die with him to sin and to live to him and to his righteousness. For true faith in Jesus Christ, which comes from God, and not from ourselves, submits to Christ as Lord, repents of (forsakes) sin, and walks in obedience to our Lord’s commands (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24).

For, if we do not forsake our sins, and if we do not walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, as a matter of practice, but we continue in deliberate and habitual sin against the Lord, and we refuse to obey his commands, then we don’t know the Lord, we are not in fellowship with him, we don’t love him, and we are not saved from our sins nor bound for heaven, but we will die in our sins because we refused to die with him to sin.

[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]

Let Us Run with Endurance

When Jesus Christ died on that cross, he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us and who rose from the dead. He died to deliver us from our slavery to sin, and he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we will now honor God with our bodies (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; Rom 6:1-23; 1 Co 6:19-20).

The righteous requirement of the law is thus fulfilled in us who walk (in conduct, in practice) not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. For, Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Rom 8:1-17; Titus 2:11-14; Eph 2:10; Php 2:12-13).

Thus, Jesus Christ did not die on that cross just to forgive us our sins, to deliver us from the punishment of sin, and to promise us heaven as our eternal destiny. He died to give us new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And he died so we would walk with him in his holiness and so we would no longer walk in sin, but so we would now follow him with our lives and honor him as Lord (owner-master).

In other words, he died on that cross for our sins to give us new lives in him not like the old lives so we would now live for him and no longer for ourselves and so we will run the race he has set before us, and so we will walk the walk he has designed and purposed for us. So, we must leave our sins and follow Jesus in obedience to his will for our lives.

Looking to Jesus

And this is the clincher. Not one of us can do this in our own flesh. Flesh cannot drive out flesh nor can it produce the Spirit and holiness. We must be born again of the Spirit of God and empowered of God’s Spirit to live holy lives pleasing to the Lord. But we must cooperate with God’s work of grace in our hearts and lives by surrendering our lives to him and by following him wherever he leads us.

So, we don’t “try hard” or “struggle” to try to make it and to do what is good and to not do what is bad. That is us trying in our own strength and it will fail us every time. We have to surrender our all to the Lord Jesus and let him take control in our lives. We must be fully dependent on him for and in all things and following him in obedience to his commands, all in his power and wisdom and strength. And he will supply all we need to live for Him.

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Words by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

3 thoughts on “It’s not in Trying but in Trusting

    • Bruce, my brother, thank you. I will pass this along to Rick. The same back to you and to your family. Have a blessed New Year in Jesus. Stay in touch and let us know how you are doing. Love to you and to your family. God bless you. Sue

      Liked by 1 person

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