I was at an airport recently waiting for my flight and I found myself observing people at the gates. Many were carrying their items that they were planning to take with them on their travels or journeys. You could see in the travelers faces their hope or expectation as they came up to the departure gate. I wondered what they would say if I asked them what they were carrying to their vacation or to their business. I suspect most would say “This is my luggage”. I doubt anyone would say “this my baggage”. Yet spiritually we get the two mixed up all the time. How? OK, perhaps you–the reader doesn’t–but this author does frequently. Let me explain. Luggage is defined as “suitcases or other bags in which to pack personal belongings for traveling” One of the definitions of baggage is defined “past experiences or long-held ideas regarded as burdens and impediments”.
Scripture is full of spiritual paradoxes that in the natural do not make sense- but there is a wealth of truth when we are able to understand it with spiritual insight and wisdom. These spiritual truths are even more profound than the “natural truths” we perceive in our natural world. Here is a list of some of them. Can you list other spiritual paradoxes?
• Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38)
• The last will be made first (Matthew 19:30)
• We are in the word but not of the world (John 17:14-16)
• Humble yourself to be honored (James 4:10)
• To live you must die (1 Cor 15:36-38)
• Surrender your life to save it (Matthew 10:39, Galatians 2:20)
• When you are weak, you are strong (2 Cor 12:10)
• Difficulties are a reason for joy! (James 1:2)
• Freedom is found through slavery (Romans 6:18)
• We gain everything through losing everything (Phil 3:7-8)
• True leadership is found in serving (Matthew 20:26-28)
There is one spiritual truth or paradox in my life that I struggle with that is not mentioned above. The Lord says he operates from the future into the present moment. “He declares the end from the beginning” and “He calls those things that are not as though they are” (Isa. 46:10, Rom 4:17) One of my greatest challenges is my Christian walk, development and maturity is to refocus my vision toward the future and to believe those things He declares that are true even thou they may appear to be non-existent, elusive or even impossible. The Lord always begins things in our lives with the end in His mind and in His direct view. We don’t have that ability and that is where our faith steps in. I frequently drag the past with me and it contaminates the view He has for me. I get stuck in the past or bring the past into the present moment and then project it into the future. I burden myself with my baggage when I should have just brought my luggage.
When He asks me to go somewhere or do something -I often bring stuff that contaminates my thinking, deflates my faith, and distorts the vision He has for me and my life. Read the things Paul wrote regarding living in our past to the early church.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil:13-14
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Cor 5:17
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Cor 5:17-18
So I would encourage all who would want what the Lord has for them. When He asks you to do something or step out in faith or to give a word of encouragement or to pray on someones behalf -don’t relive or dwell in the past. When you free yourself of your past, It will free you to do things you never imagined. His vision will begin to become your vision. His dreams will live within you. He will begin to give you words to speak to others on His behalf as you become free from your baggage. We should strive to live as He lives in the “future-present” never “past-present.”
So the next time He calls you to do something or to go somewhere…grab your luggage
…and leave your baggage behind.