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, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
Around the time of the holidays, on TV, I often saw people with a lot of baggage trying to get out of town. It seemed to me that the more baggage people took with them the harder it was to travel.
That got me to thinking that the more baggage we take with us when we decide to surrender our lives to Christ the harder the “trip” is going to be. Remember that saying that was popular for a while, “Don’t date so and so they have a lot of baggage!”
Everyone has baggage from their past. Your baggage might be different then my baggage, but all of us have things from our past that we would like to unpack and be done with.
Last year there was several area’s of my life that God wanted me to bring in alignment with His will.
As I would go about learning the life lessons often thoughts of the past hounded me. I knew it was Satan, because God forgives our sinful past, then forgets it. Satan often will use people, full of the devil, to bring things from our pasts to mind also. That’s human nature and Jesus knew that it was and that’s why He told the people stoning the woman caught in the act of adultery, ‘Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Of course, no one threw another stone because, as the Word says, “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.”
When we come back to Christ we have to unpack our baggage, and make ourselves at home with our new life in Christ. As we unpack we find that some things need to be completely thrown away, some things need to be mended to be useful again, and some things simply have to be kept because we can’t avoid them.
We can throw away anything that doesn’t line up with a Christian life. We have some areas of our lives that hurt other people and those things require a bit of mending. We have family that will probably be with us until we go to eternity and those relationships cannot be avoided and so we may spend a lot of time proving, to those who know us well, that we are not the same person that we used to be.
If we spend a lot of time dwelling on our past we cannot move forward into the plans that God has for our lives.
A lot of people get stuck because they relive the past situations in their mind and it daily brings them down. They remember what this one or the other one said or did and they dwell on that. They take that baggage with them everywhere they go. You can tell because they are always on the offence, they are overly sensitive and they just can’t quit talking about these things or those people who hurt them.
I think the only time talking about our past is a good thing is when we are ministering to someone that is trying to overcome the same things we have, through Christ, and we can testify to them how God has brought us out of the pit and set our feet on solid ground.
Other then that, LET IT GO. Leave it behind you, because if God has forgotten the past you should too! When I counsel with someone who has a lot of past issues I like to have them picture putting all that hurtful stuff in a big basket. Then I tell them to take it, metaphorically, to God. I tell them to picture themselves laying the basket at His feet. It’s His now, He died on the Cross in order to take all of our sins upon Himself. Leave it at His feet and do not dare to take it back from Him.
It takes time. Satan often brings things to our minds that are hurtful. We have to recognize where any thoughts that do not line up with the will of God come from. Then we can capture those thoughts, and know that an attack on our minds has come. Then we simply do as Jesus did when Satan came to Him in the wilderness and quote the Word of God back to Him.
The scripture I use when that happens to me is the following; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Unpack the baggage from your past, lay it at the foot of Jesus and let it go! If you have friends that are not willing to do the same I advise you to let them go too. When you were “acting up” it gave them a chance to keep the attention off of their issues by talking about you. Now that you have changed they will either find another scapegoat or have to deal with their own issues.
In God’s Unconditional Love,