Get to Know the Cloud

How familiar are you with “the cloud,” the global network of servers around the globe that store and manage data, run applications, or deliver a service?  Maybe you are aware of the cloud, but not certain how it functions. On the other hand, how familiar are you with the cloud referenced in Hebrews 12:1-2?

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author, and PERFECTER of FAITH, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Who composes the cloud in Hebrews 12:1? The cloud is a great throng of men and women who lived out their faith. Through their struggles and even times of sin, they held to their commitment to God. They believed Him and therefore He was able to use them in exceptional ways for His kingdom. Hebrews 12:1-2 is a bugle call for us to rise up and join them. What might we need to do to join this hall of fame/faith?

  1.  Lay aside every encumbrance. The Greek definition of encumbrance is a weight or burden. What are we lugging around that is holding us back from sprinting forward?
  2. Lay aside every sin which is entangling us. I can think of no better word than entangles to describe what sin does to us. It weaves into our life, mind, heart, and relationships. It trips us up. Sin prevents us from running the race God has set before us; that He has purposed for our lives. We are to call sin what it is, untangle it, and lay it aside.
  3. Run with endurance the race set before you with your eyes on Jesus. Anyone who competes in a race will tell you how important it is to not look back over your shoulder. Rather, runners look forward with their eyes fixed on the goal. Believers are to run with our eyes fixed on Jesus.

Jesus, the author of our faith. Jesus, the perfecter of faith. Is your faith in need of perfecting? Then follow Jesus. His eyes were on the joy set before Him and although not described, the joy must have included thoughts of being reunited with His Father in heaven. Jesus did what it took to complete the race before Him. He endured the cross even while despising the shame. Now, He is seated at the right hand of God’s throne.  If you answered yes, that your faith is in need of perfecting, go back and read how the saints in Hebrews 11 lived out their faith. Follow their example and Jesus’s example.  Lay aside the encumbrance!  Untangle and lay aside the sin! Run!

Lord Jesus, we praise You for enduring the cross. Impassion us to lay aside encumbrances and sin so we run free of them with our eyes fixed on You.