The Sin that So Easily Entangles
The Christian life is full of joys and trials. It is full of victories, but then there are those times when we seem to be defeated. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” But that isn’t always as easy as it seems, is it?
Each of us is unique, and that means each of us has unique areas of weakness. Those weaknesses seem to pop up at the most inopportune times. For some, the weakness is food and the lure that it can comfort us in our times of stress and anxiety. For others it is anger, a fire that burns inside and explodes over the most menial of things – a spilled cup, a toy left out, etc. For still others the sin that so easily entangles is worry, the perpetual belief that we are not going to be cared for by our heavenly Father. To worry is to believe that we must take care of ourselves, for no one else will – so we plan and plan and make innumerable backup responses, ordering them from A…Z. You get the picture; Each of us will find ourselves with one or more of these sins, or of countless others like greed, sex, porn, jealousy, or envy to name a few. And these sins will try to sneak up on us and trip us, so that we would fall irretrievably in the dust – left without hope, without a future, without the chance to run again.
What are you to do when the sin that so easily entangles has either tripped you up, or is trying to trip you up? Interestingly, the answer is the same for both situations. First, the Hebrews passage reminds us that we are surrounded ‘by such a great cloud of witnesses.’ We must remember that we are not in this race alone. There are people who have gone before us, people that are running with us now, and people that will run after us. Because of this, we must not try to live the Christian life in our own strength and power. We need community. We can look back and consider the lives of others, realizing they were frail and they struggled just like we do, and we can draw strength to get up and continue on in the race. If God used them to do great things, he can use us. Just take a gander through Hebrews 11 and you will see that many of the people that are heralded as the ‘great cloud of witnesses,’ had plenty of entangling sin – Noah and the drunken stupor; Abraham and his endangering of Sarah, twice; Jacob and his conniving; Moses and his anger; David and his sin with Bathsheba, need I go on? And yet, God allowed these men and women to stand up and keep running the race. Their sin didn’t knock them out of the race, rather, it caused them to fall back upon the grace of God.
Second, Hebrews goes on to tell us to ‘fix our eyes on Jesus.’ When you are running in the race and sin tries to come upon you, or actually has its way with you, the solution is to look to Jesus. Satan wants us to wallow in our sin. Satan wants us to tear ourselves apart and to think that we have been disqualified for the prize. He wants us to think that we are injured beyond any ability to continue being of useful service in the kingdom of God. But that is a lie. Jesus is the ‘author and perfecter of our faith.’ Our successful completion of the race depends upon His merits, His strength, His endurance. And He has promised never to leave us or forsake us, even when we are lying on the ground, bleeding from our sin. For then, He comes and bandages our wounds and carries us onward, until we are healed once again.
But the same is true when we are running and sense the lure to sin. Most of us get tripped up because we begin gazing upon the sinful thing, and that just reinforces it into our psyche. Have you ever tried to not think about something? The very act of trying not to think about it brings it to the forefront of our mind. So notice what instruction we are given: fix your eyes on Jesus, not on the sin that entangles. Instead of looking at the temptation, look upon the one who overcame every temptation. Look upon the victorious one. Contemplate His grandeur, His goodness, His holiness. Think about His sacrifice and His love. Remind yourself that He reigns in glory and nothing is more powerful. (I confess that I am not always good at shifting my gaze, but when I do, victory is assured.) Sing praises to him. Sin always looks less enticing when we are worshipping. So worship, even if it means staying up all night long in order to see that the tripping hazard is destroyed and has passed.
If we would but remember these two things, I believe that every believer would experience a new joy in the Lord, and a new power in their ministry and life. So go forth remembering that you are not alone, and keep Jesus at the front and center of your life.
I have no idea how I “happened” upon this but this verse came to me today and I was pondering it at length. This is a terrific post with much wisdom herein. Thank you so much. I see it is from 2017 and I am rather dismayed that there are no comments. Well, I’ll be the first! It so happens that I grew up on Michigan in the Reformed Church…..
Thanks for the feedback, and I am so glad that God used me to bless you today. May God richly bless you as you walk with Him and may you continue to enjoy the victory in Jesus. Pastor Scott
Than you so much. It has brought a lot of insight to me. I was thinking of counselling someone then this scripture ” sin that easily entangles” came to my mind but I cunt remember the book and the verse so I googled and that’s how I landed here. It has not only reminded me of where the scripture is but has also enriched me so much. Thanks and God bless you
Thanks and God bless you for this. These days because of many teachers and others, the race seems overwhelming to many believers. We are called to stay in the track and keep the end in focus , but many have allowed themselves to be distracted by the things happening around us . Losing our focus on the glorious Lord and looking at the waves and torrents , we begin to sink. The worst of it all is that, many fail because , we do not draw strength from the Lord and sometimes from other brethren because we are suspecious of ourselves.
The Holy Spirit was counseling me on ,sin that so easily entangles and since I didn’t know where the verse is I Google searched and this is how I have landed here.
All I can say is Thank you so very much
Like some of the others I was also looking up this verse and “happened upon” this teaching. It is so good! I often remind my children that we can’t try to “not” think about something–it just doesn’t work! Rather, we fix our eyes on Jesus, and we also redirect our thoughts to “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,, whatever is pleasing, whatever is pure,” etc.
I was recently feeling really low. The enemy was certainly attacking me and trying to keep me feeling guilty about something, that God should just give up on me. In order to keep my mind from thinking these fruitless thoughts, I began to declare what is true. “It is true that God loves me. It is true that I am His child. It is true that Jesus is the author and perfector of my faith. It is true that He will never abandon me.” When we resist the father of all lies by declaring what is true, he flees from us! After declaring those truths, I was completely at peace. I was no longer allowing the voice of the enemy to control my thoughts. Hallelujah! Glory to You, Lord Jesus Christ!
Your revelation has blessed my heart now i understand Hebrew 12.Thank you and God bless you
I was preparing a sermon for our Thursday pray meeting and your insight on the scripture blessed my heart.
So glad God used me to serve you. Sorry for taking so long to respond. Holidays are busy. God be with you. Scott
Great capture of the promise and hope we (christians) have in what Jesus has provide through His suffering, death and resurrection
There is no need to respond to this comment. I just wanted to thank you for this article and for the good examples of the the sin that so easily ensnares. I also googled the verse to see where in the Bible it is. Today I am looking to Jesus to overcome sin. Blessings from Pittsburgh.
May Jesus bring you the freedom you desire as you root yourself in him. Romans 8 is a great place to meditate on for the freedom God makes available in Jesus.
Wow! Such an amazing and insightful exposition of the Word. Thank you.
Thankyou so much for the encouragement, this scripture came into my mind and I didn’t know where to find it as I had a dream that somethinh was entangling as I was walking. May Good Lord bless you for now I understand that dream.
Surely, God love me and wants me to clearly understand all these thing you mention . I have failed so so so many time on this very matter, I will always keep this as a reminder reference. Thank you
This teaching has really blessed me. I have a better understanding of this scripture. God bless you
I am so glad that you are serve by this. May God strengthen you and grow you in the freedom of the Lord.
Thank you so much! This verse was part of my devotional and I felt like I needed to look more into it and found this page! So much wisdom!
Reading this in the early hours of the morning and I am blessed. We thank God for using you to reveal his mysteries
I thank you so much! I’ve read this verse numerous times and wondered what was this sin that so easily ensnared? Now i understand (I hope) that it is personal sin that we are to overcome by the grace, power and might of our Lord given us through his Victory and my focus on Him!
How nice to see the results of a word spoken in due season from these lovely responses. “Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.” Ps.33:1