Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us.…
— Hebrews 12:1
Your biggest potential enemy in life (besides your own wrong thinking and the devil himself) is the environment in which you live. For instance, if you constantly live in an atmosphere of doubt and unbelief, it’s just a fact that you’ll have a much more difficult time maintaining a walk of strong faith. That doubt-filled environment will try to rub off on you!
It’s just a fact that your environment tends to affect you and the way you think. For example, if you used to smoke or if you used to have a drinking problem, it’s obviously not a smart idea for you to hang around smokers or drinkers — unless, that is, you want to be influenced to return to your old habits. Hanging around people who still do these things may lure you to pick up a cigarette to take a smoke or to allow yourself one more small drink.
However, those little allowances may possibly be the very hook that the devil uses to drag you back into the bondage from which Jesus Christ already delivered you. That’s why it’s vital for you to understand that the environment surrounding you is very important!
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With this in mind, look at the phrase “…the sin which doth so easily beset us….” What kind of sin is this verse talking about? The words “so easily beset us” are from the Greek word euperistatos, a compound of three words: eu, peri, and statos. Let’s look at all three of these words.
The word eu usually means well, but in this case it carries the idea of something that feels well or something that is comfortable. The Greek word peri means around or being completely surrounded. The word statos is from the root word istimi, meaning to stand. When these three words are compounded, the new word describes something that comfortably stands all around you, such as a comfortable environment.
So this phrase in Hebrews 12:1 could be understood to say:
“…Lay aside the sin and the environment that so comfortably envelops you….”
Sometimes in order to make necessary changes in your life, you must physically remove yourself from an unprofitable situation. If you’re not strong enough in your faith to stay there without being affected, you need to get up and get out of that unbelieving, negative environment — the one you’ve been comfortably living in for a long, long time. If you’re not strong enough to overcome it, it will unquestionably try to reach out and drag you back into your old behavior again.
If God’s admonition to lay aside every weight applies to you, then obey Him and make a break from that unhealthy environment! Perhaps old friends, old places, or wrong believing are trying to exert a bad influence on you and you’re not resisting that influence too well. If that’s the case, get out of there! For you, that environment is sin if it keeps you from fulfilling your potential in Jesus Christ.
Be honest as you consider your workplace, your friends, and your living conditions. Ask yourself, Is this environment conducive to my walk in Christ, or is it dragging me back down into the mire I was delivered from?
Your friends and your job are not so important that you should let them destroy your spiritual life. If you cannot successfully handle the environment you’re in, get out of there. Then watch the Lord provide a better job and better friends than you’ve ever had in your life!
Your Christian life is serious business. Don’t let your environment fill you with doubt and knock you out of your spiritual race! If you can’t handle your environment victoriously, initiate a plan of action to change it today!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, I want to stay in an environment that will keep my faith alive and strong. Help me recognize those relationships and places I should avoid to keep my faith from being negatively affected. As You show me places, people, and things I should avoid, give me the strength I need to do what is right — and give me the wisdom I need to know how to avoid those places and people!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I confess that I will physically remove myself from unprofitable situations that are not positive for my faith. I make the choice to get up and get out of unbelieving, negative environments that tend to pull me down. I am laying aside every weight, and I am making a break from all unhealthy environments! With God’s help, I make right choices and right friends. I do everything I can to stay in environments that help me keep my faith alive and well.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. Have you been in any relationships or environments that you should have avoided? How did they affect your walk with God?
2. Are there any unprofitable situations or relationships that you need to remove yourself from now?
3. What steps can you take to start making better choices of friends and environments? What do you think the Lord wants you to do with your current relationships and places that you frequent?