Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hunting Hindrances

A question in my mind and Hebrews 12:1 have converged recently to badger me. They've gotten stuck in my craw, I guess.

The question is, Are some of my pursuits/interests dampening my affections for Christ? Are there some things that, by spending the amount of time on them that I do, actually serve to throw cold water on my enthusiasm for the Lord?

Hebrews 12:1 goes, "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" (NIV).

The phrase in that verse that gets me at the moment is "everything that hinders." I understand that to be the non-sin stuff, the amoral things, the things not necessarily good or bad, but they can nonetheless become hindrances.

What things might those be?


j.scantlin said...

Interesting ... I'm finding it harder to justify watching TV or movies or reading certain books by myself (though I still sometimes do). Watching/reading those same books/TV/movies in fellowship, for me I think, can still be un-hindering.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kent, I feel 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 are THE APOSTLE, PAUL'S only observances, by the Spirit of God, to be the first and foremost closest, personal distractions to our "devotional closeness" to the Lord as also, to a certain extent, James would see it: (That is such as is in James 4:8), Kent. A Christian doesn't weaken in his walk with the Lord, I'm certain, by a few distractions. Enoch Walked with God for hundreds of years before his rapture (300). God can either save the church and present her to His Son, gloriously pure, without sport or wrinkle or He can't. And since He is able, there may be some "double mindedness," (KJV, James 4:8) into which we might slip occasionally; and walking "afar off" (KJV) as Peter did (Matthew 26:58) to the place of going even beyond attacking our brothers in Christ but Christ Himself, as Peter denied Him. But I agreed with Jeff and what he said about this in the first comment on your blogger regarding this. Truly, there is a balance between keeping God as our FIRST LOVE (Revelation 2:4) and maintaining, responsibility, business and personal pleasure. Some of the world, I know, neglect their own children for the sake of the guru they worship. God Himself takes a dim view of this (1 Timothy 5:8). Yet, assisting the needy, as did Job (Job 29:14-17, or assisting them as the book of 1st John expects (1 John 4:16), and as Isaiah the prophet gives applause (Isaiah 58) are all commendable. These things can seemingly take many many diversionary paths in and of themselves. Any personal pleasure we pursue, or expansion of book-learning knowledge is all beyond such devotional points as well. But Peter was married. And the apostleship had a right to have a wife (1 Corinthians 9:5) as do all others. So the Scriptures teach. Still, a spouse is the closest "distraction," according Paul in 1 Corinthians 7. We know it is God's will for younger women to marry and bare children and not to be busybodies in the church (1 Timothy 5:13 & 14). Give God the very first part of each day, Kent. Many Old Testament people did. He wants to spend personal time with all of us. He isn't expecting neglect. And He warns of it (Hebrews 2:1, KJV). We must all keep a rein on personal hobbies beyond our worldly attentions to a spouse, as the Scriptures have said. The Lord knows we have DIFFERENT INTERESTS on occasions which are natural. Yet they are all for His glory. So did Christ (Micah 5:2 b) --Dad

Kent S said...

I'm not saying I'll toss out all hobbies and such. My concern is the amount of time I invest in certain pursuits. If a husband spends far more time watching sports than he does with his wife, I think that's a problem, even if his wife is in the same room as the TV.

If my passions for other things are higher than my enthusiasm for the Lord and his kingdom, that's a problem. So to me, then, it seems some schedule-altering is in order.