Today, I have a message for the tired, discouraged, the weak and weary. To those who are striving against the agony of sin… to those of you who are struggling… those of you like me, I have Good News!
The cause of our conflict is sin. Yes, the conflict is a conflict against sin and to engage and fight against sin is to fight the good cause (1 Timothy 6: 12; 1 Corinthians 9: 25; 2 Timothy 2:5; 4:7). For sin is the worst enemy both to God and to man. Our spiritual warfare is both honorable and necessary; for we are not only defending ourselves against that which would destroy us, get victory over us… but more than this, we must strive to maintain relationship…our covenant relationship with holy God of which sin is the barrier.
So what do we do…. In the bible, Gods word, we are encouraged to be salty. “Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will [can we make] it salty again?” (Mark 9:50) So we strive and work and work and strive to maintain fellowship, the covenant of salt (2 Chronicles 13: 5; Numbers 18:19). We priests must include salt in our offering (Leviticus 2: 13). Salt preserves and keeps us from putrefaction and corruption. Salt signifies the purity necessary in the worship of God. Everything is to be seasoned with it, to signify holiness extended through every part of Divine service, and through the hearts and lives of God’s worshipers. It was called the salt of the covenant of God, because as salt is incorruptible, so was the covenant God made with Abram, David and through the death of Jesus Christ, our Kinsmen Redeemer (Ruth 3 & 4).
As Christ Followers we are enlisted under Christ’s banner, to strive against sin, against sinful doctrines, sinful practices, and sinful habits and customs, both in ourselves and in others.
The other day, Hebrews 12: 1 was in the post, “A Denial” and Gods word still stands, calling to us, encouraging us to “… lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”… every burden; every sin, which is the weight, and burden to us, to me, the sinner. Moreover, sin is a hindrance in running the Christian race. It is the indwelling sin, our secret and unseen sin, but also every outward, physical transgression, and therefore, it is to be laid aside; as a burden, laid on Christ; as a sin to be abstained from, and put off as a dirty, putrefied, rag. Do we really need that nasty, old security blanket that we have been dragging around in the muck and mire with us, wrapping up in it and warmed to a false sense that it brings comfort and well-being?
Sin also manifests itself as worldly cares, riches, and honors, and when pursued, is a weight that depresses and holds the mind, my mind, becoming a great hindrance in the work and service of God.
Therefore, as runners in a race, we must throw off everything that encumbers, drop whatsoever is ponderous and weighty, run in light garments, and laying aside anything that entangles and hinders the running.
And now that we are once again unfettered, we can become as our examples in Hebrews 12: 1, our cloud of witnesses i.e. “the martyrs” … the Old Testament saints. Yes, we are now Gods saints. Not saints from our own merit or saints in and of ourselves, but Gods people called to a purpose that is not beyond our reach… Nor is His work too hard, because we have been given His promise. Again in verse 1, we are told that just as the Israelites in the wilderness, we are also encompassed with the pillar of cloud or with the cloud of glory. God has our back and is still there providing for us. 1 Corinthians 10: 1 says that “all our fathers were under the cloud” which is the divine presence of God, Gods shikinah glory. The Israelites on Mount Sinai and in the tabernacle and temple experienced God as their protection, being in the daytime as a pillar of cloud to screen them from the scorching heat of the sun, and in the night time as a pillar of fire to preserve them from beasts of prey, as well as to guide and direct them in the way. We as well have Gods protection from the heat, fire and even beasts of pray as God directs our path.
So today, run unburdened, unfettered because we have this same pillar of cloud; it is no other than Christ, holy God, made into flesh (John 1: 14) who stands in the gap for us, interceding on our behalf with groaning to deep for words because He is the Kinsmen Redeemer knowing our struggles but yet without sin.
Today we are called to be salt in the world, where ever our world is and the only way we can achieve saltiness is staying in fellowship, staying true to our relationship with God within the covenant of salt. We, saints, who are living sacrifices to God, must have salt in ourselves, for every sacrifice must be salted with salt (Mark 9:49-50). God is the salt that purifies. He is the salt of fidelity. He is holy and incorruptible and as we worship Him, He is sprinkled over us.
Christ, our Holy God and Kinsmen Redeemer, give us the desire to be salt in the world. Let Your salt rain down on us so that we can be a living sacrifice today. Thank you for Your protection and guidance You will give along the way. And thank you for taking our sin and unburdening us to run… to run unencumbered for Your glory. In Your precious and holy name, Lord Jesus… Amen