Let It Go
How many of you like to go on trips?
Do you like to travel around the country? Or do you like to go to the same place every year?
I know some people that they plan an annual trip to the beach every summer. They may go to a different beach every year, but they will go to that same area.
What is one thing that you have to do when you go on a trip?
You have to plan the trip. You have save money to go on the trip. But you definitely have to pack a bag. Some times you pack more than you need.
I remember when the girls were little, Kelly would pack everything. If there was something that she thought she would need she would pack it. Especially with Mailey, our oldest. We were new to this. We didn’t know what we would need or not need. Now with Brenley we still packed quite a bit but not near as much as we did with Mailey.
Now, let’s put this in our day to day life. Some of you, if not all of us, carry baggage around every day.
We walk around carrying heavy baggage from years of mistakes, hurts, pain, bad choices. Today, I want to help you unpack all that worthless weight that you are carrying around and I want you to live free in the eternal grace of Jesus Christ.
So, what kind of baggage are you carrying. Look at what Paul tells us in Ephesians chapter 4. Look at verse 31.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
I know you probably know the jest of what each of these are but let’s take a look at them anyway.
This is a spirit that refuses reconciliation. It is a smoldering resentment. It is an unwillingness to forgive. It’s a harsh feeling.
I don’t believe bitterness happens immediately. I believe that it is something that builds over time. Some times we can get up set move past it. But when you become bitter is when you have let that hurt fester and then it moves to bitterness. It is like a sore on your arm. If you don’t take care of it it can lead to an internal infection.
Bitterness is like an internal infection. You didn’t take care of the hurt and so it led to bitterness.
Rage and Anger
Rage and Anger
Anger is a continuous attitude of hatred that remains bottled up within. This could refer to what is under the surface, while “rage” refers to what bursts out. Anger would destroy harmony and unity among believers.
When I’m thinking about this I think of a water hose. When you put your thumb on that hose or you put a nozzle on that hose, the water is only on the inside. But when you open the nozzle or you take your thumb off the hose, the water comes gushing out.
Anger is the water in the hose and Rage is when the water is released.
If you are familiar with the Incredible Hulk. As long as he is not angry he is fine. But when we gets angry, he turns green and the rage comes out.
Brawling and Slander
Brawling and Slander
Brawling is loud self-assertions of angry people determined to make their grievances known. I’m angry and your going to hear what I have to say. It may also be said with some not so nice words.
Slander is when you destroy another person’s good reputation by lying, gossiping, and spreading rumors.
This is what any talk show is full of. You can’t understand what anyone is saying because they are all screaming above each other trying to let their voice be heard.
This is a general term referring to an evil force that destroys relationships, and it can mean anything from trouble to wickedness. It is a deliberate attempt to harm another person.
Your intent is to get back at the person that has done you wrong. You want them to pay for it.
Some of you have been carrying around this baggage for a long time and it is time to Let that baggage go. Just let it go.
I’ve never heart anyone say, “I sure hope someone does something awful to me today, just so I can withhold forgiveness from them!” And yet, if we are honest about it, there are many of us who silently hold bitterness, anger, envy, and I could go on, in our hearts towards others.
So, before we move on today you need to identify what baggage you are carrying.
Let’s take a moment and pray.
“Lord, reveal to us what kind of baggage we are carrying. Help us to let it go and not carry it any more. In Jesus Name.”
Some of you may need counseling. It is okay to go to a professional.
14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
18 Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.
Whatever baggage you have you need to identify what that baggage is. You need to go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to show you what areas you need to fix in your life. If you have some major issues, get professional help.
And once you’ve identified areas of baggage the next obvious step is to do something about it. You need to get rid of it and let it go.
But God doesn’t just want you to get rid of it. He wants to heal you and restore you and see you walk in freedom.
6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Notice in verse nine that He doesn’t just forgive us our sins but He also purifies us from all unrighteousness. Jesus wants to clean you completely.
12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
Bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, malice. All of these things are from the dominion of darkness. These are spirits that want to destroy you and your relationships. These spirits want to control the church. They want to keep people bound for years. But Jesus says to put those things aside, let them go and bring them into the light. Darkness can not keep the light out.
When we call on God to rescue us from these evil spirits, He comes out and sets us free. With God we can be unhindered by this excess baggage that we have allowed to take root in our life.
But maybe you say this morning, but Pastor you don’t know about my baggage. I’ve been carrying this baggage for a long time.
Can I share my story with you this morning?
It was 20 years ago. I was youth pastoring at a church in Texarkana. The pastor called me into his office on a Monday morning. And I will never forget the words he said to me. He said those words that no one wants to hear. He told me that I was fired. His excuse for firing me was that I did not relate to the youth. In the year that I had been there, the youth group had gone from 25 youth to 75 youth. We had seen kids get saved. But never the less, he fired me. Kelly and I moved in with my parents and we began looking for the next ministry opportunity. We made contact with a pastor in Florida. It seems like a good opportunity for us. We pack our stuff and make the journey to Florida. Four months after we take the job and move the 18 hours away our pastor calls us into his office and informs the staff at that church that he is stepping down as pastor. It takes about three months to hire a new pastor. The new pastor comes in and begins spending money and lots of it. After him being there for four months, he calls me into his office and begins to tell me that he had to let me go because the church couldn’t afford to pay me any more. 2 weeks later Kelly and I move back to Arkansas. When I left Florida, I said that I would never work for another pastor again.
I was angry. I would be lying to you if I said that I didn’t have some fits of rage. I will admit that there was some bitterness there as well.
I was angry at the first pastor that fired me. I felt like it was all his fault. I wanted bad stuff to happen to him, not physically but lose his job or something. I was hurt and angry and bitter.
I don’t know how many times that I would cry out to God to take the bitterness away.
It took months to get to the place that I could ask God to take the bitterness away. To help me forgive those pastors. And I will never forget when I went to the altar and I let it go. It was if a weight had been lifted off my shoulder. It was as if God took all that hurt and bitterness and anger and threw it all away.
I wish I could tell you that it was done instantly but I can’t it was a process. It was a process of sanctification.
So, my question to you this morning is do you trust Him? Do you trust the one that spoke the stars in the sky? Do you trust the one that lined up all the planets? Do you trust the one that created everything? Do you trust the one that can take all the pain and hurt and bitterness away and let you live a free life?
These things that you are going through, the enemy has meant them for evil but God will use these for His good in your life.
If your answer today is yes I trust Him, then let go of the baggage and get moving. Today is as good a day as any to say goodbye to the anger and bitterness you’ve been holding onto.
Let it Go!
Remember the words of Jesus in John 10:10
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Pastor Bill uses this verse all the time on Wednesday’s. The thief refers to the enemy, Satan. He wants to destroy you. But Jesus says, I have come that you may have life and have it to the full. The New King James says, “have it abundantly.”
The writer of Hebrews gives us a promise when we put our trust in Jesus.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Do You Trust Him!
Do You Trust Him!
Do you trust that He has a plan for your life? Do you trust that He will work it all together for good? Do you trust that there may be situations that the enemy meant for evil, that God will see for His good in your life?
Today is your day then. It is time to throw off the baggage weighing you down and run the race of freedom and live in the light.