Heb 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”
Jer 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
The problem is baggage. You have too much junk in the trunk of life, guilt, secret sins, hurt, worry. That keeps you from finding your Jer 29:11 destiny. It’s all excess baggage.
Gal 5:7 “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”
You need to identify the weight and the sin in your life.
Weight doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Weight can be something somebody did to you. Weight can be something that is going on outside of control, but it is causing you to slow down.
The fact that you have baggage means you’re human, but you’re outside the will of God.
Are you too busy to eat right, spend time with family, etc? You’re an emotional wreck. You don’t have time for the people you love the most. When the last time your family got together for a meal? Does your iPad or your iPhone keep you from actually spending time with your family when you’re there?
It’s all about baggage in the Spirit.
Relationships are so important, but you don’t have time to cultivate them. You’re out of order spiritually.
Have you learned to pray? Or are your prayers emotionless? Are your prayers canned? Are the heavens made of brass and the floors of iron? Do you feel like God isn’t hearing you?
In America, 50% of all church-goers go only once a month, but they want to go every week.
The Bible doesn’t say God won’t give you more than you can handle.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
It’s all about the fact that you can’t handle it and you NEED Him. It’s not about being first in the race of life, it’s about finishing well. You can’t quit. It’s not for the swift. It’s Matthew 10:22 “…but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
You can’t run with baggage. You can put on a mask, but it is so hard to walk, let alone run, with six things of baggage.
Some of the baggage might be work. In fact, at work, you might be respected, but at home, he’s just a regular person. You might rather be at work. Your wife and kids need you. Hopes have been shattered at the bottom of a corporate ladder. What about going to church? What about personal time with God through prayer and Bible study?
Saul would’ve been a good king if it weren’t for personal ambition.
Fear might be another example of baggage. God doesn’t give you the spirit of fear. It’s worry that plagues you. Fear isn’t based on facts or anything logical. Fear actually deteriorates knowledge. 95% of things that you worry about you have no control over. It’s a spirit!
2 Tim 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
A man was reading his paper early one morning. His wife came and patted him on the shoulder and said, ‘I bet you don’t know what day it is today?’ This man was afraid. He said, ‘Of course I know.’ He didn’t have a clue, but he was afraid of his wife getting mad. He ordered flowers then worried that wasn’t enough. So, he bought her a very nice dress and made reservations at a nice restaurant. He’s very proud of himself. So, on the way home, he gets a box of chocolates.
When he got home, his wife ran out crying and hugged him. She said, ‘This is the best Groundhog’s Day I’ve ever had!’
Some people believe they have problems, but there are no symptoms. Fear will paralyze you.
There’s a bridge that is five miles long and people have panic attacks.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment…”
Perfect means complete, mature. Trust will get rid of your fear baggage.
Secret sins are the worst baggage. God sees it all.
Heb 4:13 “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
People fear losing their reputation or their marriage. They feel it’s better to cover it up than overcome.
David committed adultery. Nobody would have ever known. He had her husband murdered. The sin progressed.
An evil man named Jeffrey Dahmer, a mass murderer, arranged a meeting with Dr. James Dobson before he was electrocuted. There were bars and guards. He wanted to warn teenagers about pornography. He went on to murder and then got more disgusting. It was never enough.
Drop the baggage.
2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Behold—don’t look at the past. Look! All things have been made new.
Some people can’t get past their past. Guilt is another weight. Past mistakes make you think you can’t forgive yourself.
John 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
You can say, ‘Shut up, Devil!”
If it’s buried and under the blood, take that shovel from the devil and hit him over the head with it!
Debt is another weight. Finances can be like a tightrope or a noose. It’s not so much that you don’t make enough money. Your problem is your spending habits.
Deut 28 talks about losing everything. It’s not your money. It all belongs to God. The 90% isn’t for you to squander.
Getting rid of these weights requires a change of your mind.
Another weight is past hurt or bitterness.
Read the story of Joseph. He was sold by his brothers. He was lied about and was thrown into prison. Then, he helped a couple of guys and was forgotten.
Gen 50:20 “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
President Teddy Roosevelt was shot before he gave a speech. He gave that speech, then asked his driver to take him to the hospital.
Christianity is more about reaction than action sometimes. How do you react when someone does you wrong? How did Jesus react? You can forgive.
Mat 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
How are you supposed to make it across the finish line with this much baggage?!
How do you lose weight?
- Share the load. Some things should be shared. Moses’ father-in-law advised him to share the load of leading. Moses wasn’t doing well when he tried to carry the load alone. A forklift can handle a lot of weight, but it can be overloaded. Gal 6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
- Some things just need to be stopped or dumped. When Paul was on the boat, they threw good stuff over, but it still needed to go. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
- Surrender everything. Psalm 62:1 “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.” Sometimes, you refuse to let go.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For full audios of our sermons, click here.
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!