Being a college student, I have moved definitely more than once into and out of my dorm, apartment, and my soon-to-be new apartment. I am notorious for trying to move out all by myself rather than accept the help that my roommates have offered me countless times. Looking back in May, when I was moving out of my apartment, there was one time in particular when I decided to pack a lot of rather heavy things into one huge plastic bag. However, when I started to carry the bag to my car, I physically could not lift it. It got to the point where I had to drag it down the hallway to the parking garage instead of letting one of my roommates help carry the bag with me. When I was almost to my car, it tore. Looking back now, I laugh for many reasons, but mainly because I scratched the floors of my apartment in my own stubbornness!
However, I feel that a lot of us do this same exact thing in our own lives. We pack a huge bag full of sin, whether that be personal insecurities, substance abuse, gossip, or any other sin. Before we know it, the bag is completely full and is too heavy to hold by ourselves. I have found that we often find alternative ways to carry the bag alone rather than ask for help. Similarly, just like I refused the help of my roommates, I frequently ignore God’s voice telling me to let go, to let go of the dark, filthy baggage that I attempt to carry on my back by myself. He is freely offering Himself to me, yet, I tell him that I do not need His help. I often say, “I’m alright, God. I got this on my own. I’ll be fine.” Then, I continue to keep dragging my bag of sin that is packed to the brim. There comes a point, though, when we cannot carry our sin anymore and we collapse from the exhaustion. Our bag rips, and all of the sin that was kept hidden for so long pours out. However, what we often miss is that God has already taken away all the baggage when His Son sacrificed Himself on the cross. It is almost as if we create an imaginary bag full of darkness, forgetting that we do not have to.
Four years ago, I traveled to Germany with a group from my high school. We visited our sister school and had the opportunity to stay with host families from that school. While we were there, we performed a skit using the song “Everything” by Lifehouse. The skit is about man’s separation from God and how he struggles with all of the temptations and sin that the world has brought forth upon him. At the end of the skit, God intervenes and carries the weight of the man’s sin and baggage, and he is made new. What an incredible example of God’s love for us! He is the only One who can take our baggage and redeem us from the weight of the world. God will not suffer from exhaustion, and He won’t have to drag our bag. When we are weak and burdened, He is strong and mighty.
If you struggle with this, know that you are not alone. We all seem to have trouble letting go of our darkest sins, believing that we are not worthy of His forgiveness and redemption. However, the Lord calls us to drop our baggage and follow Him instead. This is when we experience freedom. In fact, our Timbers camp director, Philly, will be talking about that tonight in club to our campers. Matthew 16:24 states:
Then Jesus told His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me.’
The Lord is so faithful! He wants us to come to Him and surrender our deepest sin. He wants to take away our filth and wash us. It is so refreshing to know that the God of the universe cares so deeply for each and every one of us. We all will fall short time and time again, but we have no need to carry unnecessary baggage. Rather, we are renewed by Him! God has us in His hands! My prayer is that we would all let go and surrender to Him.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 3:13-14
Until next time,
A Minute to Twin It
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