Stop Making Excuses … And Get Started

Stop Making Excuses … And Get Started
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin which so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” – Hebrews 12:1

If you are a child of God and you believe His word is speaking to you, then I would like you to see three things the author of the Book of Hebrews is telling us in our text:

1. There are things that hinder and entangle all of us.

Why do you think Hebrews 12:1 starts by telling us we are surrounded by such, “a great cloud of witnesses?” Because the author wanted to preempt the excuse-making he knew was coming. He expected the believers of his day to say, “I can’t. It’s too hard. I don’t have time. You don’t know what I’m going through” or any other excuse that is already been made. The author immediately confronts his readers with the group of people he had just mentioned in Hebrews 11 – the “faith hall of fame” – witnesses who had thrown off the things that hindered them and entangled them, ran their race with patience, and finished.

2. There is a directive: throw off everything that hinders and entangles and run our race with perseverance.

As believers, we all have a race marked out for us and God will fulfill His purpose in each of us (Psalm 138:8). Acknowledge to yourself right now brother or sister, “there are some things hindering me. I’m entangled in some things. No excuses, I am going to persevere. I will throw those things off.”

When you were young, did you ever have a Swiss Army knife? For a child, the Swiss Army knife signified limitless possibilities. It had a tool for every situation: a knife, file, screwdriver, scissors, toothpick, and corkscrew. Whatever journey we embarked upon as a kid we were equipped to finish. Somewhere in the middle of our race as believers, we lost our way. We exchanged the Swiss Army knife of limitless possibilities for the cumbersome, hindering, entangling Swiss Army knife of excuses. This we must forcefully throw away.

As a child in the faith, you may have been zealous, hopeful, and ready to fulfill your role as a member of the body of Christ. You may have been inspired, affected, and impassioned with the mental aspiration of your gift to serve the Lord (Isaiah 6:8). Often, though, under adversity we can forget Jesus’ admonition that we must come as a child, fully trusting our father in heaven to equip us on our journey (Matthew 18:3-4). As we grow in the faith, we are expected to use our talents and the gifts we are given to make the body functional in service to our Lord (Matthew 25:19, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31).

3. There are people/witnesses/examples who came before us.

The cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 11 went through the same hinderances and entanglements we are going through, and they persevered. There is no obstacle within or without that is unique to us; there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

It is inevitable that we will become hindered and entangled at times as we run our race, and for those chaotic times, the author of Hebrews directs us to the throne of grace for grace and mercy (Hebrews 4:16). As children we can approach boldly to our Savior’s feet. Hebrews 12:2 admonishes us to look “to Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.” Jesus will fill that gap between the “good work” He started and “finishing” it in our life (Philippians 1:6). We must trust in Him and believe His word applies to us so that we may be strengthened to finish the race He marked out for us (Isaiah 40:31).

Dispense with the excuses. It is time to get started.