The army of Alexander the Great was advancing on Persia. At one critical point, it appeared that his troops might be defeated. The soldiers had taken so much plunder from their previous campaigns that they had become weighted down and were loosing their effectiveness in combat. Alexander immediately commanded that all the spoils be thrown into a heap and burned.
The Hebrew writer admonishes, “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).
The race before us is the Christian life. How often do we, like the “foolish Galatians” allow things of this world to hinder us from our enduring faithfulness to God? If we are not careful we will allow such things as work, recreation, education, retirement plans, hobbies, and even our families weight us down and impede our growth and pursuit of the prize of the high calling of God (Philippians 3:14).
As Alexander commanded his armies, we must not simply store in another place those things that hinder us from our fighting the good fight, but we must cast them aside and completely remove them from our lives — regardless how precious they may seem! Consider the results for the armies of Greece: “Alexander’s men complained bitterly but soon came to see the wisdom of the order. Someone wrote, ‘It was as if wings had been given to them — they walked light again.’ Victory was assured.”
Remember, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24)