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…(Hebrews 12:1 NIV).
Faith is your greatest spiritual asset. Four times in the Word of God we are told, …the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38).
In Hebrews 11:6 we are told, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. We refer to this chapter in the New Testament as the “Hall of Faith” which records the exploits of faith by great men and women, who trusted God and received the impossible. These Old Testament believers received…a good report through faith but none of them received all that God had promised them (Hebrews 11:39). They could only receive the material and physical promises of the Abrahamic Covenant but they were not able to receive spiritual redemption. That could not take place until Jesus went to the cross as the Lamb of God, the last sacrifice under the Abrahamic Covenant, to obtain eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12-15).
Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant with better promises (Hebrews 8:6). It is a better covenant because we not only get all of the material and physical benefits of the Old Covenant—we have also obtained spiritual redemption!
The writer of Hebrews reminds us that we are surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses watching us and then exhorts us to…throw off everything that hinders…
To hinder means—“to delay or hold something back, especially something that is under way or about to start; it connotes a thwarting of progress, either deliberate or accidental.” So a hindrance is anything that provides resistance, delay or obstruction to something or someone.
Satan no longer has any power over a born-again believer, but he will challenge real Bible faith. He will introduce hindrances to keep you from developing your faith and receiving revelation from God’s Word. Once you receive light from the Word you can see things you could not see before. Revelation knowledge enables you to move forward, see capabilities, realize what satan has stolen from you and know what belongs to you as a believer now in this lifetime. Without revelation or light from God’s Word, you can’t see anything wrong.
Since the just shall live by faith, it is impossible to please God without faith and it is by faith that receive from God–we need to examine the major hindrances to living the life of faith God has called us to.
(1) A lack of understanding of the new creation.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (II Corinthians 5:17).
The Good News Translations says, Anyone joined to Christ is a new being…
The Living Bible says, When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside.
Because of a lack of proper teaching, many Christians after they are born-again continue to identify with fallen Adam instead of the risen Christ. But that old man with its sinful nature is dead and gone. You no longer have the nature to sin. All of the forces of life inside God (eternal life) were imparted to you. It is your actual, present possession. When you were born-again you were translated from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of his dear Son…(Colossians 1:13). You are now a joint-heir with Jesus (Romans 8:17).
Revelation 1:6 says we have been made kings and priests unto God… God only knows you as a king. Jesus said, …He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father (John 14:12). Now it is imperative that you meditate on these scriptures and renew your mind to this new creation. …seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him…(Colossians 3:9-10).
If you continue to see yourself as a “sinner saved by grace” you will continue to identify with your old sinful nature instead of the new creature born of God, capable of doing the same, and greater works of Jesus. If you were just a forgiven sinner, then you would have gone back to sinning the next day. But by grace you were saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8). YOU BECAME A NEW CREATION. YOU HAVE A NEW SPIRIT.
With an understanding of what it means to be a new creation, we can remove this hindrance to receiving from God and operate in the same kind of faith Jesus operated in.
(2) A lack of understanding of our place in Him and His place in us.
The phrases “in Christ”, “in Him”, and “in whom”, occur 134 times in the New Testament. These phrases are referring to us as born-again New Covenant believers and tell us who we are and what we have.
For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us] (Ephesians 2:10 Amplified Bible).
In John 17, Jesus is praying for us just hours before going to the Cross. In verse 20 He says, Neither pray I for these (twelve) alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word…He is talking about us in the New Covenant …that they also may be one IN US…(verse 21). I IN THEM, AND THOU IN ME, that they may be made perfect in one…and has loved them, as thou hast love me.
Jesus got His prayer answered. God loves us just as much as He loves Jesus. Through the New Birth, we are in Christ Jesus and are now seated with him in heavenly places at the right hand of the Father. But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together WITH CHRIST (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places IN CHRIST JESUS…(Ephesians 2:4-6).
And ye are complete IN HIM, which is the head of all principality and power…(Colossians 2:10). It is vital to realize that what the Word of God says about you is true. It is God speaking to you personally. Meditate on these scriptures concerning who you are in Christ and what Christ in us can do. You will begin to see yourself the way God sees you—one with Him—now.
You will not be able to boldly receive your inheritance now in this lifetime and exercise your authority over satan and his forces if you don’t know that you are in Christ Jesus. His victory is our victory. You get everything He has. He has given you His Name and His Word and all of heaven will back it when you use it in faith. Actually He has given us His own personal armour and spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:10-20). When satan sees you wearing God’s armour, he doesn’t know its you inside—he thinks its God. If you just say what God says, he will never know it’s you!
With an understanding of what it means to be “in Christ” and “Christ in us”, we can remove this hindrance to receiving from God and operate in the same kind of faith Jesus operated in.
(3) A lack of understanding of righteousness.
This is one of the major hindrances that holds people back and thwarts the progress of many believers when it comes to receiving from God and taking dominion over the earth.
Righteousness is not something you attain when you get to heaven. It has nothing to do with your conduct here on earth. It is a position of rightstanding with God that you did not earn. It is not the result of something you did, it is the result of what Jesus did. You believed and received it by (the law of) faith. So it excludes boasting (Romans 3:27).
The moment you received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour by faith, you were made the righteousness of God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be MADE the righteousness of God in him (II Corinthians 5:21). Jesus was MADE sin with your sin and you were MADE righteous with His righteousness.
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be MADE righteous (Romans 5:19). Romans 3:22 says it is…by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe… It is also the free gift of God (Romans 5:16-17).
Jesus could not have operated in faith effectively if he had any doubt about His relationship with His Father (John 10:30, 14:10). I John 4:17 says…as he is, so are we in this world. Not when we get to heaven.
We must meditate these scriptures and apply them to ourselves personally in order to establish this inner image and develop a righteousness-consciousness. A righteousness-consciousness is the ability to stand in the presence of God without the consciousness of sin, inferiority, guilt or fear. As a result of this righteousness-consciousness we can…come boldly (confident and fearlessly) unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). You can come before the throne of God as if sin never existed. Because you are in rightstanding with God through the New Birth, you now have access to the Throne.
If believers were being taught about righteousness, their struggle with sin would be over. Jesus has already fixed the sin problem. Paul said, Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame (I Corinthians 15:34).
The Word of God is the Constitution of the Kingdom of God. It is the written document that gives you certain rights and privileges as a citizen of heaven. You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven to claim them. These rights and privileges belong to you now. God wants to treat us here as if we were already in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
Here are just a few of the rights and privileges in the Kingdom that belong to you now:
† All good things that exist (I Cor. 3:21-22, Matthew 7:7-8,11, I Timothy 6:17, Romans 8:32).
† Eternal life—the God-kind of life (John 10:10).
† Victory over satan and all his works –sin, sickness, lack, demons, fear (Galatians 3:13-14, I John 3:8, Hebrews 2:14-15).
† The Father’s care and protection (Matthew 6:30-34, 10:29-31, II Cor. 9:8, Phil.4:19, III John 2).
† Answered prayer (I Peter 3:12, James 5:16, John 16:23, Mark 11:24).
† The indwelling and empowerment of the Holy Spirit (John 14:17, 26, John 16:13-15, Acts 1:8, 2:1-4, 8:14-17, 10:44-46).
We are no longer servants, but sons (John 1:12, Galatians 4:4-7, I John 3:1-2). In order to honour our place as sons, we must take our place in righteousness.
With an understanding of what it means to be made the righteousness of God, we can remove this hindrance to receiving from God and operating in the same kind of faith Jesus operated in.
(4) A lack of understanding of our privilege and right to use the Name of Jesus.
In the previous point, I only mentioned a few of the rights and privileges we have as a result of our rightstanding with God and as a joint-heir with Jesus. The right to use the Name of Jesus is another one of the rights and privileges that belongs to us.
In order to live a victorious life of faith, it is vital that we have faith in the Name of Jesus. Ephesians 3:14-15 tells us that we have been named after God. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named… Even though the believer has been delivered from the power of darkness, we still live in a world dominated by satan. The Name of Jesus is a weapon for us to use.
The Body of Christ has been given power of attorney to use Jesus’ Name. The right to use someone’s name is the right to use their complete authority. We are joint heirs with Jesus—not sub-heirs. We are (presently) seated with Jesus at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers …and every name that is named (Ephesians 1:20-21).
Jesus inherited His Name from God (Hebrews 1:4). The power in His name can only be measured by the power of God. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). His name is above every name and was conferred on Him by the Father.
Jesus also achieved the authority of His Name by conquest. All of the authority in God’s Word is in the Name of Jesus. …and his name is called The Word of God (Revelation 19:13). When you speak the Name of Jesus in faith, you have just flung the entire Word of God in satan’s face. Satan and all demons are reminded of their defeat on the day of His resurrection. I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death (Revelation 1:18). Jesus is alive and this is why all of the other “names” are dead and have no power!
Jesus not only took the keys of hell and death from satan, He also took the armour satan trusted in and gave us the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Luke 11:21-22, Matthew 16:19). All of heaven and the angels here on earth will back that Name when we speak it in faith.
The Name of Jesus also gets the ear of God. And in that day (the New Covenant age after my resurrection) ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father IN MY NAME, he will give it you (John 16:23).
When you develop faith in the Name of Jesus, you will be confident that you have the ear of God and that satan and all the powers of darkness will obey your commands. And these signs shall follow them that believe; IN MY NAME shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover (Mark 16:17-18).
With an understanding of our privilege and right to use the Name of Jesus, we can remove this hindrance to receiving from God and operating in the same kind of faith Jesus operated in.
(5) A lack of understanding about acting on the Word.
Faith without actions is dead [faith] (James 2:26 Common English Bible).
When you believe the Word of God you will act on it. Otherwise it is only mental assent. Faith is not a mental exercise it is of the heart.
God and His Word are one. Trusting in the Lord is being fully persuaded that He will do what He said He will do. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5). You can trust the Lord to keep His Word just as surely as you would have confidence in the word of a doctor, lawyer or trusted friend.
In the Kingdom of God, it is the doers of the Word that get results. Not just church-goers, CD-listeners or note-takers. Jesus compared a doer of the Word to a man that built his house on a rock. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock… (Matthew 7:24). When the storms of life rose up and beat against that house, it could not be shaken. You can be inside sitting by the fireplace while the storm rages outside, confident that God’s Word will not fail you.
The first generation of Israelites that were delivered from Egypt had God’s Word about the abundant land of Canaan that awaited them. They also had Joshua and Caleb’s testimony in addition to physical evidence of that bountiful supply they brought back with them. Yet, because they did not act on it, they never experienced their inheritance.
Steps that enable you to act on the Word: (1) Put the Word first place and final authority in your life (2) meditate on a specific scripture and apply it to your personal situation (3) speak it and allow the Holy Spirit to paint a clear image of the Word on the inside of you so you become fully persuaded.
(6) A lack of understanding that we are to hold fast to our confession of faith.
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession (confession of faith) (Hebrews 4:14).
The Greek word translated profession or confession is the word homologia, which means—“to say the same thing.” As long as we maintain our confession, saying the same thing God’s Word says about our situation, Jesus is the High Priest over what we say.
In Hebrews chapter 4, we are told that the Israelites did not mix faith with the Word that was preached to them and they did not enter the rest of God because of unbelief (verses 2,6). God could never get them to say what He said about the Promised Land and it grieved Him. Consequently they never experienced and enjoyed Canaan Land living that God had already provided for them. The moral to this story is: your faith will never rise above the level of your confession of the Word.
Israel’s Promised Land was a geographical location. For us New Covenant believers, it represents a type of our inheritance—in this life. We access it through our exceeding great and precious promises (II Peter 1:3-4). We have to confess God’s Word in order to possess the promises by faith—or all the promises mean nothing.
Our labour is to enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:3,10-11). In the rest of faith, the believer is not moved by what he sees and hears that may be contrary to the Word he is confessing. The Word of God does the work for us and we expect every circumstance to come into agreement. To be afraid to act or confess before you have the manifestation is to doubt God’s Word.
Holding fast to your confession forces your mind to agree with what God said. You begin to see yourself the way God sees you—healed and blessed abundantly. God’s Word is forever settled in heaven. We have to establish it on the earth. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise (Hebrews 10:35-36).
Here are 5 basic confessions that cover every area of life:
Jesus is Lord over all (Philippians 2:9-11)
- I Peter 5:7
- Psalm 23:1
- Isaiah 53:3-5
- I Corinthians 1:30