In the early 2000’s, Christian music was at the forefront of mainstream music. It wasn’t uncommon to turn on the radio to kj103 and hear your favorite Christian band. In 2001, there was a Christian band our youth group liked to listen to called Relient K (yes, like the Chrysler k cars). One of their songs that has stuck with me through years is called Pressing On and these lyrics specifically, “To go back to where I was would just be wrong, I’m pressing on.”
This is the same observation that the writer of Hebrews says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
- Hebrews 12:1-2
Sin has a way of getting at us on the surface levels, but also in our deepest levels. It comes to us in the forms of depressions, insecurities, overwhelming anxieties, addictions, and pleasures all with the goal of keeping us focused on anything other than hope. Sometimes things just seem so hopeless that it would be easier to just give up and go back. However, that is not what Christians are encouraged to do.
We are encouraged to look at the faithful that have gone before us for examples in endurance. We are to look to Jesus and find strength to lay down our burdens as he did, looking toward the joy and hope coming to those who are faithful. We are encouraged to drop sins that have become part of our identity and leave them behind. Then we run to Jesus, eyes dead set on him, throughout our lives on this earth, no matter how hard the running gets. Consciously making the choice to turn to him instead of shutting down and crawling within ourselves where there is no hope.
Do I believe that we can just get rid of these deep inward attacks like depression, anxiety, addiction, insecurities, etc.? No, I don’t. I do believe, however, that we can drop old identities, work hard toward change, and place hope in Jesus and the glory to come for those who remain faithful to God through the struggles. I hope this week when these feelings become attacks, I encourage you to drop everything and run to Jesus. Don’t give in and let them have control over you. Don’t go back… to go back to where you were would just be wrong, keep pressing on.