By Patrick Hawthorne
12 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, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV)
If you are not paying attention, I bet that you did not catch the ole “Switch-a -Roo” that I did between the opening verses and the title of this post. Look back at the title. I wrote, “Those Sin’s Which Doth So Easily Beset Us.” Now look at verse one. Did you notice that the author of Hebrews wrote, “…and the sin which doth so easily beset us…” The word ‘sin’ in verse one is singular. However, most read it or understand it to be plural.
“What’s the big deal?” you might be thinking. The big deal is that the author is dealing with one specific sin. This one sin written of, which all the other sins follow, is the sin of doubt or unbelief. That’s right! It is doubt that God is able to deliver you according to His Word. Have you ever noticed that, at times, it is easier to believe God for someone else but when it comes to you, there lingers a bit of doubt? Look at a sermon note from John MacAuthor.
And then he adds this. “And the sin” — that’s singular – “the sin that so easily besets us.” The sin, what sin? A sin, a singular sin. What is the one sin that has the greatest effect on faith? Starts with a D. Doubt. That’s right. The sin that messes up the life of faith is doubt. You say, “Oh God, you can supply all my needs” and every time something doesn’t go the way it should, you get nervous. And you’re really doubting, aren’t you? You’re really doubting. (John MacAuthor)
To illustrate, let me ask you a couple of questions. When was the last time you sinned the same sin that you have been sinning for seemingly forever? This is called an iniquity. What did you do?
If I were a betting man, which I’m not because I have a horrible poker face, I would bet that you took a mental hammer to your cranium and commenced to whack yourself over the head while asking the Lord to forgive you. Am I correct? Please, don’t raise your hand.
The reason for the the self condemnation and self loathing is not because of the sins (plural) that you commit but the sin (singular) that you commit. This is the sin of doubting that you will ever be free of that iniquity. It is the sin of thinking, “This iniquity is greater than the shed blood of Jesus.”
As one who, through the shed blood of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, has successfully dropped a great many iniquities that used to so easily ensnare me, I still have a few that hang on tighter than a monkey to a banana. And yes, there are times when a wave of doubt will scroll across the marquee of my mind announcing that God will be not be able to deliver me. It is at those times that I must cast aside the weight of doubt and say, “Greater is He who is in me than He who is in the world.” It is at those times that I must run back to the site of my old victories and shout, “He delivered me here and He will do it again.”
What am I doing? I am putting my focus back on my deliverer. I am “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith…” I am picking myself back up and continuing to run my race. Be blessed.