Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our 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.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
Hebrews Chapter 11 is a faith testimony, listing many of the Bible's greatest heroes. All faced trials and incredible obstacles--yet none more difficult than the deadly turbulence of our world today. As Jesus' ambassadors in the entertainment industry, we are called to bear witness, to put our faith to the test in 'A time such as this' (Esther 4:14).
In the midst of it, we are studied by family, friends, fans, and competitors, as well as a spiritual assembly of principalities, powers, and heavenly hosts.
We need to do what is right when our faith is tested by big offers, no offers, lots of money, little money, difficult circumstances, or people who betray us. Yet, God gives us five steps to victory at the finish line.
1. Remember, we are being watched--especially off stage. Every word we speak and action we take matters.
2. We must lay aside 'every weight.' What is dragging us down, holding us back? It may be negative friends, fruitless activities, bad habits, or a mountain of doubts, fears, and indecision. If we aren't sure what weighs us down, ask God. He will reveal it.
3. We must lay aside 'the sin that so easily ensnares us.' Easy sins are familiar temptations or destructive behaviors: irritability, negativity, passivity, gossip, food, alcohol, shopping, etc. Pray vigilantly to be delivered from easy sins.
4. We are told to endure, to complete the race set before us. It's tempting to wish for a quick victory or a different path. It's tempting to give up and go home. But our home is not on this earth. To move backwards is to retreat from our true home, Heaven.
5. The last part is the best part. Our final instruction is simply to look toward Jesus. He is the 'author' of our faith, its human embodiment. He is also 'the finisher'--the closer. Closers are the most important part of a team: the last throw, the deal maker, the winner.
When we have done everything we know to do, holding firmly to the first four steps, we simply look to Christ--knowing that He will take our faith to its victorious conclusion.