Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Remove What Hinders Your Walk with Jesus

Hebrews 12:1

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.

RevRayWhat hinders you from your goals – from your desired result?  If you wish to lose weight – someone preparing your favorite fattening dish might be a hindrance.  If you’re training for a marathon a twisted ankle might hinder you from achieving your goal.  Does it seem to rain every time you wash your car?  What is it that hinders you from your goals or desired results?

Have we thought of this in regards to our spiritual life?  Our goal may be to increase our devotional time – spending more time reading the Bible or praying.  Our goal might be to lead a Sunday School class or even begin attending one.  We might even feel that this is what God has called us to do.  What might hinder this effort – this goal?  A busier schedule?  A favorite sports team with a winning streak going?  Family activities?  A new hobby?

A friend who was a farmer gave testimony one week of how he felt God had given him more fields to plant (rental farms in the community).  I came to him privately and asked him to consider the possibility that it wasn’t God who had given him the extra fields – but possibly Satan.  He looked puzzled.  I asked him what might suffer with the extra time spent working the new fields?  We talked about his time with God – with his wife – with his children – with his friends.  Could the extra fields to plant actually be a hindrance to his time with God – with family – with the church?  It made him think about his priorities.

What is it that hinders you from going deeper with God?  Today’s passage reminds us that we have a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us and that we should throw off everything that hinders and run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

What is it God is calling you to as a person – as a family – or even as a church community?  Once we know what that is we can better identify the things that might hinder us from accomplishing what God has for us.  A well-known pastor told us at a conference one time that he could have speaking engagements every week and all over the world.  He told us that he limits himself to a few conferences a year because he has a calling on his life to pastor a local church and to be a husband and father.  He is the only husband and father his wife and children will ever have and there are other pastors and speakers who could speak at all of those other conferences and engagements.  He was throwing off the things that hindered his calling – his walk with his Lord.

What is it that might hinder your walk with Jesus?   Swimmers often wear the very least they can and even shave their bodies in order to have the least amount of restriction in the water.  They want nothing that will slow them down.  Search for what God is calling you to do and then find out what it is that might hinder your walk and remove it!  Remove it so that you will have a narrow focus – a focus on serving God.  Remove what hinders your walk with Jesus and see if your time with Him improves!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

July 3, 2013 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Thank you, Ray. I’ve always liked that verse from Hebrews. Life is a race of sorts. I’ll always remember my first Superintendent, Harold Johnson. “Slow me down, Lord,” was his daily prayer. Since I retired 4 years ago, I have enjoyed a slower pace, pursuing interests that help keep me fit and feeling good, so I can better serve my Lord, my wife Christine, and others around me. Being a part time pastor, serving in retirement, helps me satisfy my itch to be a pastor. Our goal is to reach Heaven and hear our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Earth is our practice field, training for Heaven. Happy Independence Day, Ray!


    Comment by Favorite Son | July 4, 2013 | Reply

    • Thanks Darryl – I’ve always liked this passage as well. Happy 4th to you as well. Slowing down and smelling the roses is something we all ought to think about…


      Comment by raymcdonald | July 4, 2013 | Reply

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