Throw off everything

THROW OFF WOUNDS, LIES, AND MASKS (PHASE 2)

I was just in a meeting with pastors from Kenya, Brazil, Romania, and the U.S. in North Carolina to share about our Divine Expedition training, and described how our first phase (Phase 1) is a map of Life Transformation and Missional Impact from the Book of Romans.

I went on to describe how our second phase of training is “Aligning our Heart with Father God’s heart for us.” In this phase we address wounds, lies, and masks that result and that we carry through life. Of course we go on to  the healing and forgiveness we can experience through Father God’s heart for us.

As I was about to go on to our next two phases, one of the pastors stopped me and read Hebrews 12:1 which tells us:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

James: "I knew I was wounded."
James: “I knew I was wounded.”

We are to throw off two things. The first is “everything that hinders us.” One of those things is the hurt and wounds that are inflicted upon us, such as demeaning and devaluing, even abusive statements and acts.

All of us have been wounded…and all of us have wounded others. We seldom find a pastor or a leader who has not been wounded. Those wounds are normally buried but hinder us in ministry and relationship. One pastor in Uganda told us, “I knew I was wounded but I didn’t know what to do about it.”

I won’t go into the detail of our Phase 2 training, but it is powerful to see people liberated from the wounds and lies they carry. I recently received a Facebook message from one of those (pictured above) who went through our Phase 2 in Brazil who commented: “It changed my life.”

Changed lives.
Changed lives.
THROW OFF SIN (PHASE 1)

The second thing we are to throw off is “the sin that so easily entangles us.” Our phase 1 training highlights the message “I was lost, Jesus rescued me, and he can rescue you too.” Jesus rescues us from both the penalty and power of sin, as Paul so beautifully shows in the book of Romans. We not only walk through Romans as a Life Transformation and Missional Impact book but we ask, “Where are you in the book of Romans?”

“Where are you in the book of Romans?”

We are to throw off everything that hinders us…wounds, lies, masks, and sin…so that we can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Once we’ve thrown off everything that hinders us, Hebrews 12:2-3 tells us how to run:

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

We frequently talk about following Jesus or walking with Jesus, but the picture in Hebrews 12:1-3 is one of running with Jesus…with him out in front. Tim Holt, a dear pastor friend of mine says the Christian life is trying to “catch up with Jesus.” Jesus is always out front, always leading the way. Our job is to keep him in sight…or to use a Tour de France biking metaphor, to draft behind him. He isn’t trying to run us ragged but to lead us to “pleasant places” and to “a delightful inheritance” (Psalm 16:6).

THROW OFF FAULTY WORLDVIEWS (“BIG ISSUES”)

One final note regarding “throwing off everything that hinders.” In addition to wounds, lies, masks, and sin, I believe we are to throw off the hinderance of worldviews that displace or marginalize Christ. Nancy Pearcey in her book Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity puts it like this:

Apologetics involves not only defending the Christian faith but also critiquing other faiths and worldviews. Part of the task is to free people from the power of false worldviews by diagnosing the points where they fail to stack up against reality.”

This is the reason the NO BS BS I lead when not traveling and training has undertaken a study of the “Big Issues We Face Today.” We are currently looking at, “Where the Western World Turned off from a Judeo-Christian Theistic Worldview.”

Thank you for running alongside us as we persevere in the race marked out for us,

Linus and Sharon

P.S. Next up in the race:

  • Returning from the Carolinas (speaking and coaching).
  • Hosting Sammy and Marcia Diab from Brazil.
  • The Global Training Network Leadership gathering in Phoenix, Arizona.

Please pray as we gather with a great group of fellow runners.


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