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Are Those Your Bags?

Hey, are these your bags sir? This was the question being asked of me by the TSA agent who needed to look inside my bag. I have to admit I was a little flustered by this; not by the fact the man was doing his job God bless him, I mean honestly I would check me too I know I look a little sketchy. Usually I have no problem when they need to check something out, in fact it gives me a great opportunity to converse with the person doing the check. The airport gives you a lot of great witnessing opportunities. The reason I was so frustrated was that I had a flight to catch and soon! I had just spent 2 weeks on the mission field in Vietnam with 5 other amazing people but I was ready to get home. Unfortunately our previous flight had been delayed which caused an already short window of time between when we landed and when our next flight took off to become even smaller. After the check was concluded and I was free to go (I had forgotten to take my laptop out – rookie mistake – but what can I say I was tired) I started running as fast as I could to get to the plane. One big problem was hindering me from making as much progress as I would have liked, my bags, I had a messenger bag full of books along with a laptop and a back pack filled with clothes and more books to make room in my check on bag for all the extra things I had picked up on my trip. As I ran all I heard in my mind was “Hey, are these your bags sir? Oh how I wished I could have just said no and left those bags there or had someone carry those bags for me I would have been so much freer to run towards my destination if I didn’t have all this baggage weighing me down. I awkwardly ran down the corridor with bags swinging around whacking me as I did so. I did not make the flight!

The first two kings of Israel were a stark contrast in men and leaders. . There are many differences between the two but the greatest was how they handled their baggage. When Samuel went to publicly proclaim Saul as king and present him before the people Saul was nowhere to be found. When he finally was found he was found hiding “amongst the baggage” (1 Sam. 10:22 NASB) or as the KJV states it “amongst the stuff”. Here Saul was at the moment of fulfilling what God had anointed him to do and who he had anointed him to be but instead he was hiding in the baggage, he was hiding in the stuff. God has called each and every one of us to fulfill a purpose He has giving for us but so many times we fail to accomplish what it is we have been giving to do because we hide in the baggage of our lives. We hide amongst all the “stuff”. We hide in the baggage of our past, in all the junk of our mistakes and in all the stuff that weighs us down. This was a sign of things to come for Saul whether it was the baggage of jealousy of David, the baggage of unrepentance for his disobedience to God and past failures whatever it was Saul was always weighed down by his baggage. Saul lived his whole reign hiding amongst the baggage which in turn hindered him from getting to the destination God had called him to go. Scripture teaches us that we were not created to live amongst the baggage of our lives but that God has something far greater for us than that, a freedom from those bags.

David on the other hand handled baggage completely different. We read about his encounter with Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. In verse 17 we read that David’s father gave him an errand to run taking some grains, bread and cheese to his brothers on the Israeli battlefront. So David goes off carrying his bags of food and when he arrives he sees the battle lines formed with the Philistines and their giant Goliath on one side and the Israeli army on the other. David knows a battle is brewing one that will be easy for the Israeli army to win if they would just put their confidence in the Lord and realize this battle is God’s battle. So verse 22 of 1 Samuel 17 shows us what David does which is in complete opposition of what Saul does in verse 22 just 7 chapters earlier. Scripture tells us “then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper and ran to the battle line” (NASB). You see David understood something that Saul failed to realize; you can’t get to where you need to get and you cant fight the battles you need to fight if you are being weighed down by a bunch of baggage. So he left his baggage with “the baggage keeper”. This is a key point we need to understand – we need SOMEONE to give our baggage to but who? Who is it that well take all of our stuff for us?

Jesus Christ says “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT; emphasis added). Jesus calls out to each and every one of us from the cross to come and lay our baggage down so we can be freed from our sin, from our past, from any identity we have forged for ourselves outside of Christ. However, we have an enemy who is always there pointing out our failures and our past saying “Hey, aren’t those your bags” and far too often we pick up the very baggage we turned over to Jesus and start carrying them all over again. The question begs to ask then will you hide amongst your baggage preventing you from freely running the race God has laid before you or will you give it to Jesus.?

Jesus has provided for us through His atoning death upon the cross the ability to lay down all bags and to run free from that weight to the destination He has laid before us! So, the next time Satan tries to get you to pick up the baggage you have already turned over to our Great Baggage Keeper Jesus Christ tell him NO those aren’t your bags anymore Jesus has taken them for you and that you have a flight to catch!

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9