Most women are quick to notice if they have gained a few pounds and will do almost anything to try to lose weight and be thinner again. And most husbands do appreciate a wife keeping herself in good physical shape – not to extremes – but keeping herself healthy, vibrant and looking her best within reason.
BUT WORSE THAN A FEW EXTRA POUNDS OF FAT ON OUR BODIES – MANY OF US ARE SPIRITUALLY MORBIDLY OBESE, LADEN DOWN WITH SIN AND CRUSHED BY THE WEIGHT OF GUILT WE BEAR.
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. Hebrews 12:1
Sin creates spiritual weight that encumbers us, slows us down in our race, trips us up and eventually – if we don’t throw it off – it will paralyze us in our faith and make us useless in God’s kingdom!
A runner who has fallen in the race track and just lays there may also trip up those who come behind her. Our sin doesn’t just affect us. It reaches out and affects our marriages, our children and all those around us. It also keeps us from soaring, racing, running, and being the beautiful women of God that He wants us to be. Sin imprisons and enslaves us, choking the life out of us – causing guilt, anxiety, fear, worry and sometimes even depression.
THE GREATEST SIN?
In my opinion, the greatest sin there is - is pride. We often don’t even see how immersed we are in it. It was the thing that repulsed Jesus the most and the main source of conflict between Christ and the pharisees who thought they were so much better and “more righteous” than everyone around them.
We can EASILY think “I know best.” “I know better than my husband.” “I know better than God.” “I am the exception to God’s commands for marriage. Surely God doesn’t know MY husband! Surely He sees that I am the better leader and that my husband will just mess everything up!” “I don’t have to obey God because my situation is unique and I have more wisdom than God does for my life.” We can easily trust our own wisdom and do what seems right in our own eyes - and blindly run down a path toward destruction instead of the narrow path that leads to life. Pride was the downfall of Satan – and pride can lead to every other sin.
When I first realized how disrespectful I had been toward my husband over 3 years ago – I suddenly saw mountains of pride in my heart. I was digging out pride and confessing dump truck loads of it for many weeks before it was all gone – and I hadn’t even noticed it before! It is an ugly thing – and it separates us from intimacy with God. Sin is completely repulsive to our holy God and it has to be eliminated before we can be close to Him.
WHAT IS SIN?
There are many sins – greed, selfishness, lust, idolatry (putting something before God in our hearts), stealing, gluttony, addictions of every sort, un-forgiveness, envy, taking God’s name in vain, adultery, lying, rage, slander, gossip, refusing to help those in need, apathy, hatred, bitterness, grudges, disobeying God’s Word by doing something against it or by not doing something He asks us to do…. They all separate us very far from God.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT OUR SIN? HOW DOES HE DEAL WITH IT?
Sin is anything that “misses the mark” of God’s holiness – it is an archery term for when the arrow misses the target. God is a holy God – yes He is Love - but He is also holy – He is pure and undefiled by sin. He cannot tolerate being in the presence of sin. And God is perfectly just – He must demand proper payment for wrongs that have been done. He will not allow injustice. This is a HUGE problem for all of us! None of us are able to be good enough to impress God and earn our way to be with Him in heaven. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6b Our best behavior on our own is literally like “filthy, bloody menstrual rags” in God’s sight. He cannot overlook any sin. He cannot ignore it. The Bible says:
- ”All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
- “For the wages (paycheck that is earned) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
- “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works (good deeds), so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (God REALLY hates us boasting about how good we are. Jesus Himself said, only God is good. We can’t be good enough on our own. Only perfection will do. That’s why we need His incredible gift so desperately. Accepting Jesus’ gift of forgiveness and payment for our millions of dollars worth of sin debt creates gratitude and humility in our hearts – and those qualities are very beautiful in God’s sight.)
THE HOLY HERO
He is the ultimate Prince Who was willing to rescue the maiden in distress – us! When we were unable to do anything about our sinful and wretched condition and still dead spiritually in our sins, Jesus was willing to set aside His deity as God, take on a human body, live as a man, and then take on the unfathomable weight of the sin of the entire world onto His pure, undefiled, holy soul on the cross to pay the penalty that we deserved and that we earned. He bore the colossal weight of every sin ever committed and overcame death to rescue us – if we will but accept His gift, put our trust and faith in Him, love Him with our whole hearts and live our lives surrendered to Him. We can’t earn this relationship! He is willing to take our sin and the death we deserved in exchange for giving us His life, His right relationship with God, His holiness, His power, His heaven… WOW!
A HEAVENLY MARRIAGE PROPOSAL
He longs for us to love Him with all that we are – to worship Him as the Lord of our lives – the One Who is in charge. He longs for us to follow Him, delight in Him, praise Him, thank Him, worship Him and reverence Him every day of our lives.
He desires to be the ultimate Husband to us – to love us, lead us, cherish us, make us more and more like Him and prepare us to be His radiant, spotless bride in heaven. But He will not force us to love Him. He is a gentleman – and He gave us a free will so that we can choose to love or reject Him.
GOD’S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE – TO REFLECT HIS OWN LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE
Our marriage relationships are to reflect the very great mystery of Christ and His church. (Ephesians 5:32). Husbands represent Christ in marriage and are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for Her, and they are to be the head of their wives as Christ is the head of His church. (Ephesians 5:23-25) Wives are to follow their husbands’ leadership as they would follow Christ and they are to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:22, 33) This is the ultimate test of faith for every believing wife! Is God big enough to trust Him to lead me through my sinful husband?
THE RESULTS OF GOD’S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE
When we follow God’s commands for marriage, our marriages are blessed, we are at peace, we are full of joy, we are fulfilled, we change to be more like Jesus, we grow closer to God, our husbands become more like God, our children become more and more godly.
God’s wisdom is much higher than our own! It doesn’t make sense to us to do the things He asks us to do - in fact, it is very counterintuitive for husbands AND wives to do things God’s way – and His design is not remotely politically correct today. But it works because He made it to work that way! He is the Author of marriage – the Creator of masculinity and femininity. He knows how to make marriages thrive. He created marriage and He instilled His wisdom into the design. If we try to make marriage work another way – we will be as successful as we would if we decided to use orange juice instead of unleaded gasoline to fuel our cars!
LOSING THE WEIGHT OF SIN
I pray that you might be sensitive to God’s Holy Spirit speaking to your heart today. I pray that you might be willing to confess every known sin in your heart to God today. I pray that you might ask Him to forgive you by the power of Jesus’ blood. I pray that you might repent (turn 180 degrees away from sin and toward Jesus) and live for Him from this day on!! This is how we throw off the weight of sin that entangles us!
I pray that you might say “Yes!” to His invitation to be your heavenly Husband – the One Who deeply knows you, yet loves you anyway – the One from Whom you have no secrets and no room to brag. I pray that you might say, “Yes!” to the One Who gave up His life so that you could live a spiritually abundant life now and live with Him happily ever after in heaven forever! I pray you might discover what an incredibly gentle, selfless, loving, unfailing, trustworthy, faithful, good, strong, powerful Lord Jesus is and find His narrow path that leads to life.
If you are interested in giving your heart and life to Jesus – you are welcome to contact me – or you can read more in your Bible, or speak to a strong Bible-believing Christian or Bible-believing pastor who can tell you more about how to have a living relationship with the King of kings and Lord of lords that will give you life forever in heaven with Him in the future, and a life of spiritual abundance, adventure, forgiveness, peace, joy and freedom from sin here on earth.
This first step is called, “salvation” or being “born again” – and it is the biggest time of losing the weight of sin. But then we continue daily to be spiritually intimate with Jesus and telling Him about any other sin issues we have so that we continually throw off every sin and live to honor Christ.
THE WEIGHT LOSS THAT BRINGS GREAT BEAUTY IN GOD’S SIGHT
When we throw off the weight of our sin, we are able to be truly beautiful spiritually in the eyes of God and our husbands! Then we are able to have the gentle, peaceful spirit that does not give way to fear that is so gorgeous and lights us up with the joy of Jesus! That is when we soar on wings like eagles and live life to its absolute fullest!
Help each of us to throw off the weight on our souls that has us tripped up, paralyzed, enslaved and miserable. Let us find the freedom that You offer to break our chains of sin and death and give us abundant life! Let us find the joy of following and obeying You daily in our lives and marriages. Let us find the wide open spaces and breathing room that You offer us and freedom from the crushing weight of sin. Let us live for You daily, serve You wholeheartedly, love You with all our hearts and shine brightly for You in a dark and dying world.
In Jesus’ Name,