Refusing Carry-On’s

Jeff emotions, Forgiveness, grace

In a very simple illustration during Sunday’s message, Father gave breakthrough to many people.  I should not be surprised because the moment in the message was basically a last minute thought which hit me about an hour before I was to preach the morning service.  It was not elaborately planned nor sermonically scripted.  I was not even confident that I would remember to share it when and if the proper time arose during the message.  It actually began a couple of weeks ago when I was traveling with my family. As we moved to two different locations during our children’s Spring Break,  handling the luggage was one of the tasks that fell to me. Somewhere during the transferring of all our baggage from Amy’s van into the places we stayed, the Holy Spirit lodged something in my mind that did not leave me. Allow me to put into words what was cemented in my mind during an approximately ten-second span:

“The children of God like to carry their own baggage wherever they go.  What was packed up in one place that they have left, they tote with them as they head toward wherever they are going.  Like they do at airports with their literal luggage, they also do with their historical life-baggage.  They drop their literal luggage off at a baggage carousel for a time and let the airline handle it for a while…but they always make sure that they put a tag with their name on it because they always intend to pick it back up. They intend to carry it again themselves to wherever it is that they are going.  God’s children do the same with their cares, their regrets, their failures and their past guilt.  They do it with their present fears and their anxieties about their futures. They leave it with Me for a while but they often put a spiritual luggage tag on it with their own names written there because they still believe it is their responsibility to lug along with them.  They think they are owning their baggage but they are actually allowing their baggage to own them.  I want them to write My name on everything from their past and leave it with Me.  They need to offload their pressures of today and let Me handle that weight. I want them to let me tote their worries over tomorrow. I want them to let Me carry all of this.  I want them to assign it to me so that they are free to go to their destination without any more care for it.  I want my name to be written over all their baggage.  I want to handle it all for them.”

This illustration was so simple that I nearly hesitated to share it yesterday morning but, as I was leaving my office to head to the main auditorium, I sensed such a strong impression to take a bag of luggage tags from out of my office and write one word on the place where the transport information goes: JESUS.  At the end of the message about God’s compassion and mercy, I simply laid that handful of tags on the edge of the platform and invited anyone who desired to come and take one until they were all gone. I was inviting people to welcome Jesus to carry their load.

I should have brought 100 of those tags with me because we ran out almost immediately.

My illustration about not carrying the burdensome baggage of your past through your life is actually represented by a handful of verses which carry the authority of God.  I leave them with you below in strong hope that you will walk in absolute Gospel freedom as you have committed your life unto Jesus Christ.  Once that beautiful moment occurs in our lives, we are truly freed from all guilt before God. Certainly it begins in that moment but it takes a strong commitment from each of us to walk out this reality of a clean and clear standing before God.  We may believe it but rarely sense it.  If we do not commit to training ourselves to cast our daily cares on Jesus then we will potentially live out a theoretical faith that says He can handle our baggage…but that He doesn’t actually do so.  My junk is way too heavy: past, present and future.  I have learned that I am not strong enough on my own, not spiritual enough and not smart enough.  I am learning to be wise enough, however, to load it all upon Him.  May we all receive the grace to cause our emotions to bow to God’s truth.  May we assign our past (and present, and future) to Jesus and welcome His name to be written upon it all.  Life is too heavy for me to carry.  My Savior has both strong hands and a willing heart to take the load from me.  I get to travel in freedom.

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” – Hebrews 10:17

 

“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:5-7

 

“Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” – Psalm 55:22

 

“Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3

 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?…Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:25, 33-34