Hebrews 12:1-2 English Standard Version (ESV)
1 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, 2 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.
Each of our sins is a form of self-deceit. Thus, I think that what the Holy Spirit does for most of us to help us remove our self-imposed deceits — sins or weights — that prevent us from accepting God’s Word.
Consider how this works with respect to a purely practical matter. Much of a scientist’s job figuring out what is important. To develop a theory that works, scientists must set aside all the details that do not matter.
When a scientist develops a hypothesis, he is modeling the real world. The real world is an infinitely complex web of causes and effects beyond our understanding.
A scientist begins by focusing upon that bit of behavior within a certain system that he wants to understand, that is, a particular set of cause and effect relationships related to some aspect of an animal, a vegetable, or a mineral. Consider some examples: the way bats spread a certain fungal disease to other bats, how an insect pollinates a flower, or the way the element carbon cycles through the environment.
The scientist’s focuses upon the creation of a testable model, a mathematical model if possible, that describes the behavior he wants to understand.
To develop a practical mathematical model, each scientist must put boundaries around the system he is studying. Then within those boundaries he must decide which causes and which effects are relevant to the behavior he wants to understand. Next he must gather data that demonstrates the relationship between these causes and effects. After all that, he is finally ready to develop and test his hypothesis.
What if a scientist’s hypothesis is wrong? Then he must discover where his model is in error or incomplete. He must set aside his biases and reexamine the animal, the plant or the thing he is studying. What did he miss? What is he not seeing?
What does it mean to set aside our biases and reexamine an animal, a vegetable, or a mineral? We must look only at the information we have, not for what we wish to see. To be a good scientist we must first love the truth. We must be more fascinated by what we find than what we wish too see. The universe — we exist — for the glory of God, not to make it easy to for us to impress our colleagues, apply for grants, or win a Nobel prize.
The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. It would not perhaps be too fanciful to say that a new idea is the most quickly acting antigen known to science. If we watch ourselves honestly we shall often find that we have begun to argue against a new idea even before it has been completely stated. — Wilfred Batten Lewis Trotter (1872-1939) English surgeon (from here)
Similarly, each day we live each of must discover what is important to our purpose in life. What tasks did God make us to accomplish? If we set the boundaries around our lives incorrectly, we will miss our purpose. We will leave out God. We each will think only of what we want. We will not think of what God wants us to do — what God wants for us.
Once we include God within the boundaries of our life — once we put Him in charge — we can then seek out what He has given us to do. We can discern each task He sets before us, and we can discard each distraction or sin that would keep us from fulfilling our purpose.
If we keep our focus upon our Creator, we will not despair. We will remember He is God, the Creator. Everything depends Him, and He will give us what we need.
What is our modelling tool? How do we decide what is important? Whereas the scientist works with data and mathematics, the Christian works with the Word of God and prayer. The scientist works to gain knowledge and understanding. The Christian works to gain wisdom so that when the time comes he can choose to do what is right in God’s eyes.
Wisdom is the fitting application of knowledge. Knowledge understands the light has turned red; wisdom applies the brakes. Knowledge sees the quicksand; wisdom walks around it. Knowledge memorizes the Ten Commandments; wisdom obeys them. Knowledge learns of God; wisdom loves Him. — from What is wisdom? What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?