Why Are You Still Carrying Last Year's Baggage?
by Jeanniene Lee
When packing baggage for a trip, we often fill each piece of luggage with what we feel we'll need for the journey ahead. Oftentimes, we pack things we do not need and discover that once we return home from the trip, those items were only taking up space and ended up being a burden -- a load of unnecessary weight we hauled from place-to-place.
I've been guilty myself of taking too many suitcases when traveling. Upon returning home, I realized I really needed only half of what I took with me. All the excess baggage was unnecessary and became a burden to me during my travels. Without the help of airport porters and oftentimes those meeting me at the airport, I would have been unable to handle all those bags alone. Excess baggage is just as bad as taking along the wrong baggage (unnecessary baggage).
What would it be like if you never unpacked the baggage from last summer's vacation; and, when you prepared to go on your winter ski trip, you just grabbed those bags from last year's vacation and headed out the door? Beloved, once you arrive at he ski lodge you would be in for a big disappointment. :First, when you open those bags from last summer's vacation, you would be greeted by the stench of a soured bathing suit that you packed wet. For the most part, you would discover that you've hauled along a luggage full of clothing that were not suitable for your present vacation experience. You have expended time and energy carrying around baggage that only weighed you down in the car and slowed you down at the airport. Baggage that became a burden.
The same occurs oftentimes on our journey through life. We carry around baggage that has nothing to do with where we are headed in life. We also carry around excess baggage that we do not need and it becomes a weight. It slows us down as we run life's race. Baggage not gotten rid of will slow us down and eventually hinder us from finishing the race.
Are you carrying the wrong baggage? What excess baggage are you carrying? What baggage have you carried with you into this year from last year? Why are you still carrying last year's baggage?
In Hebrews 12:1 we are exhorted to "....lay aside every weight. AND the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race [of life] that is set before us." I especially like the way this passage reads in the Amplified Version.
Hebrews 12:1 (The Amplified Bible)1 Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.
Beloved, notice that Hebrews 12:1 tells us to strip off and throw aside two things. First we are told to strip off and throw aside every weight AND secondly, we are told to strip off and throw aside that sin which clings to and entangles us. The two undoubtedly are not the same. One is a weight and the other is sin; and, the weight is not necessarily a sin.
Sins are easily identified as hindrances to the fulfillment of God's purpose for your life, but oftentimes weights are not. A weight implies just that "a weight." Something that slows you down as you run the race in your life for Christ. The Amplified calls those weights encumbrances and unnecessary and commands us to lay them aside.
Weights can be anything that is not necessarily a sin but it is not in keeping with your destiny. Weights are things that are distractions and hindrances to the fulfillment of God's purpose for your life. Strong's concordance defines the word "weight" from Hebrews 12:1 as something that is a burden or a hindrance.
If what you are doing is not pointing you towards the fulfillment of the destiny that God has for your life, then that thing is just a weight. It is something used by the enemy as a distraction to hinder and slow you down in your progress towards fulfilling your true destiny.
What weights do you have in your life? What are you tolerating that you know is only a distraction sent by the devil to slow you down in your race towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus?
The Amplified version used a very interesting word in relationship to weights - encumbrance. The word "encumbrance" comes from "encumber" and implies to weigh down: to be a burden; to impede or hamper the function or activity of: to hinder.
BELOVED. A WEIGHT MAY BE A GOOD THING TO DO BUT IT IS NOT THE GOD-THING FOR YOUR LIFE.
An example of some weights are wrong career choices, time spent in relationships that are not healthy or productive, excessive amounts of time spent doing things that are not in keeping with your destiny and purpose. All of which are slowing you down from the fulfillment of God's intended purpose for your life. All of which are not pointing you in the direction of your destiny, but are hindering you from its fulfillment.
In Ephesians 5:14-16 we are boldly commanded to wake up and be alert and coherent to what our purpose is. Accurately and precisely to walk it out not wasting any time. We are told to redeem the time because the days are evil.
As you look back over last year, what weights were you carrying that you know were hindrances? What activities were you involved in that were taking a lot of your time away from your destiny? What relationships were you involved in which were distractions and hindrances? Are you still carrying those weights? Have you carried those weights into the new year?
If so, get rid of them. If you don't, the impact will be the same as it was last year -- burdensome. Obey God's Word and lay it aside yourself. Take the initiative and cut off those things that you know are burdens, those things which are only hindrances rather than instrumental in furthering your progress in God.
Now remember Hebrews 12:1 also said we are to lay aside something else besides weights, WE ARE TO LAY ASIDE THE SIN also. The Living Bible urges us to "...strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up."
Christ is coming soon. We can not afford to waste time compromising. Sin is deadly and brings forth the fruit of death. Don't fool yourself, if you are operating in sin, get rid of it. Don't deliberately haul around into a new year the dirty baggage of sin. Just like those dirty, soured swimsuits from last year's vacation that were packed away into the suitcase wet and had an unbearable stench, sin carries with it a foul odor. Sin in your life is a foul odor in the nostrils of God. Repent and clean up your life.
Before Jesus returns, God is going to judge the sin in the Body of Christ. "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:17-18).
We then as members of the Body of Christ will also be judged if there is sin present in our lives. Beloved, get rid of all sin in your life. Don't keep carrying around with you the wrong baggage, the baggage of sin.
At the beginning of this year, to my shock and amazement the Holy Spirit revealed to me why a dear friend of mine and fellow minister had NOT been experiencing the blessings of God in her life. I had spent a large amount of time investing in her life last year. At the beginning of this year one day the Holy Spirit prompted me to call her. When I did she just "went off on the phone." For over 15 minutes solid, until I stopped her, she went on-and-on about what her ex-husband had done to her. I knew she had been divorced, but I had never asked her how long it had been since she had divorced. It was over 15 years. To my shock and amazement I discovered the reason her BLESSINGS WERE BEING BLOCKED. She was in total, absolute UNFORGIVENESS towards her ex-husband for what he had done to her and her children over 15 years ago. In fact, she was bitter and all this came up and out when she saw him during the holidays. What was buried inside of her came floating out. Beloved, who haven't you forgiven? It's not hurting them. It's hurting you. In fact unforgiveness is a MAJOR BLESSING BLOCKER! Repent, forgive and release that person today so that you can release yourself and also go free!
Leave last year's sins behind. Repent, have a change of heart and mind concerning sin and go forth into a life of holiness for God this year. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
Beloved remember, excess baggage (weight) is just as deadly as the wrong baggage (sin). Stop carrying last year's baggage. It's a new year. A new day. Repent, let it go, turn your back on it and run the race towards the finish line.
This year holds for you the abundant blessings of God. This is your year of the FULLNESS OF TE BLESSING...the YEAR OF FULFILLMENT and COMPLETION in your life...this is your year of THE BLESSING OF GOD!
Let go of last year's baggage and then forget those things which are behind and reach forth unto those things which are ahead. Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14). You are destined for greatness this year.
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