Significant Encounters is a place for you if you have experienced drama and trauma in your life.
It’s a place of encouragement for you.
A place where you know that someone is in your corner.
A soft place to land.
The beginning of any journey seems the most difficult. What I’ve learned, what we ALL have learned, is that we may be packed and ready to go, but that baggage is heavy.
This journey will be no different. We are full of doubt and uncertainty.
Should I be doing this? Is it even possible to do this? Can I ever really be fixed, or have any peace? Am I even worth it?
We talked earlier about that doubt. We talked about the fact that God created us the way we are. Just the right way.
We may have even fully believed it when we learned this information.
As days go by, and life happens to us, that baggage seems to get too heavy to carry. (That seed fell on rocky ground)
We talked last time about choices. Choosing what we think about is possible. It is not always easy, but it is always possible.
Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
So, what are His thoughts? The knowledge of God says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
The Living Bible says that “These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons, I can capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5.
In other words, we don’t have to tolerate any word that says God created us differently than He did, those words are rebels, lies.
We have the ability to control what we think, and change it more to God’s liking.
We can CHOOSE to make it obey.
Now we read earlier that our thoughts are not His, but we can certainly make the choice to be thinking MORE like Him.
I’d be lying to you if I said that this is an easy turn to take. It’s not. My personal journey turned out to be long and arduous. Can I tell you though, that it was worth the effort?
Let’s talk about that baggage. This idea came not from me, but from a story that I heard at a conference told by Graham Cooke.
After hearing this story, I kept pondering it for days, weeks, perhaps even months, and it comes back every once in a while when I need it.
In my words, and in short form, the story was about baggage; Heavy baggage.
In the dictionary I looked up the word baggage, the third definition was this; Emotions or thoughts that stem from painful or unpleasant past experiences and that affect one’s outlook or behavior.
We all have it. Baggage.
And as Graham says, it was packed by an enemy that hates our guts.
It is heavy and unwieldy; Difficult to use or handle or manage because of size or weight or shape; and often impossible to move.
This baggage carries all the hurts, shames, humiliations, indignations, pains, unwarranted comments and criticisms, and any other things that have caused us to believe ourselves to be less than who God says we are.
Graham compared that baggage to what he called “Proper luggage”.
Now proper luggage was packed for us by Someone who loves us dearly (that would be God), and wants us to have whatever we need to succeed on our journey, and would not think of putting things in that luggage that will just add weight.
Fast forward. After spending quite a little time with the baggage part, I woke up to another thought.
A thought that I could have only had with God’s help.
All this time, weeks? months? that I had been working through my baggage, and I realized that I wasn’t removing anything, I was simply rearranging what was already there.
Each rearrange gave me more room for more stuff. More weight.
I learned that the only way that I was going to get anywhere, would be to get rid of the baggage, get some proper luggage, and repack. Pack well, with whatever God had in mind.
This, my friend, was a choice that I had to make.
Do you see yourself here as well? Do you have a choice to make?
You know at the airport; extra baggage costs a lot to ship.
What did it cost me? What is it costing you?
Please make your choice sooner rather than later.
The steps are these, there could take more or less time depending on how heavy your baggage is.
#1. Learn what God thinks about you in His word.
#2. Apply it to your life.
#3. Overcome bad thoughts from your previous life.
#4. Do it again, and again.
Every six months, every six weeks, every six days, every six minutes. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. As necessary.
Gradually, you’ll begin to learn, know-in-your-knower, just what God thinks, and that you can think it too!
I believe this thinking is the ONE thing that we can be responsible for.
Here’s what the word says about it. Ephesians 4:23 says to and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
In other words – Let the Spirit change your way of thinking.
Romans 12:2 says this; Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
We learned in session #1 of this series, that God is all-powerful.
Since that is the case, what reason would He have to lie to us, or lead us astray?
If He says we can renew our minds, then by Him, it is possible.
In fact, He says this in Matthew 19:26 – But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
I’m going to leave you with this today.
Please consider what you have in your baggage, and what you can do to lighten your load.
On our next visit, we’ll take a look at what I believe to be one of the top five things that weigh us down.
Feel free, to comment, like, and share this video/post with anyone who could use a soft place to land.
Until next time ….