Reasons people leave the faith

(Heb 12:1)  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,


      The writer of Hebrews speaks of sins that “beset” us – or skillfully surround us; a particular ain that easily preys upon us or engulfs us. This will not be the same for all or everyone. Many may share that same weakness but no matter about others it is a besetting sin for us. It is an anrea in our life that the enemy knows weakens us spiritually and can bring us down quickly and many times easily.

      In this passage the writer speaks of weights along with besetting sins. Weights are areas or things that are not wrong or sinful but something that can weigh us down in our spiritual life. Years ago during a revival service two yoyng landies came to the altar and the end of the service for their own particular need. They were close to one another but not next to each other. After the altar ended and the pastor was speaking t oeach one the one lady said she was struggling with romance novels. They wree a distraction to her and keeping her from having meaningful devotions. The pastor told her she needed to give them up comepleytely in order to gain victory. The other young lady heard the pastor and spoke up saying that she also read those novels and did she have to give them uyp aslso? The pastor asaked her if they were preventing her from her devotions. To which she replied that they were not – she could layt them aside at will to read and pray. The pastor told her that she did not need to give them yup but to guard that they did not become weights to her spiritual life. Weights may be proper and good, but unnecessary baggage for us in our Christian waqlk. The writer counsels us to lay any of these aside.

      The besetting sin is something that recur in our life; something we confess and repent of numerous times. It is like a weak spot in ourf Christian life. We easily give into its tempting. Alcohol would be a besetting sin to alcoholics. But there are other besetting sins. Some have trouble with lying – they have lied most of their life and after being regenerated by the Spirit they often continue in  it to gainm advantage or avoid discovery of another sin. Anger, jealousy or numerous other sins beset people and can bring them down. Too often people are told that they cannot do anything about these sins and they will just have to “do their best” in this life unto death or the Lord comes. If this is true then sin is stronger than the blood of Christ and more powerful than the Spireit of God. If we follow this doctrine we will definitely fall from the faith and eventually yield to that sin.

      A besetting sin may be a stronghold we have surrendered to the enemy and have not allowed the Lord to restore us to victory or it may be a pattern of thinking or dark spot in our reasoning that causes us to fall into its grips. Paul tells us that cthe Spoirit of God within believbers strives against the fleh and those carnal sins associated with carnality --  “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Those who stuggle so much against besetting sins usually do not have meaningful or regular devotions. They usually do not attend regular Bible study or Sunday School. The Bible is clear, the way for us to cleanse our ways is by taking heed to God’s word – “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Jesus said the the word is Spirit and life so taking heed to it (reading, memorizing and applying) will deliver us from that besetting sin.

      To lay aside is vto piut off or throw off. This is what Paul urges in two of his epistlkes – “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. {9} Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;” God provides remedy for all sin and that includes besetting sins; we do not need to permit them to drag us down or away from God.