I’m sure that you may have a favorite season of the year. My favorite season is spring.
I love the daylight, sunshine, and flowers. It’s so neat to see the leaves of the trees returning, the grass becoming green, and the flowers blooming. It’s like everything is coming to life again.
Spring is also a good time to do spring cleaning. It is a time to wash windows, clean out your closet, and dispose of items you have not used in several years. I admit that I save everything. It’s hard for me to let go of items as I am very sentimental, or I ponder whether I will need to use an item in the future.
You may have done spring cleaning in your home, but what about a spring cleaning in your spiritual life? How long has it been since you have taken a spiritual inventory? The Apostle Paul apparently thought we needed a spiritual cleansing when he wrote, “Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God” (2 Cor. 7:1 NLT).
Baggage will keep you from experiencing the fullness of life that God has planned.
All physical systems over time accumulate debris. They get cluttered, clogged, and congested, and that hinders the operation of the system. In our home, we have to service and replace the filters in our air conditioning units. Filters in our refrigerators must be replaced, or they will become clogged and cause the refrigerator to quit working. When a boat’s hull stays underwater, it can collect all kinds of algae, marine life, and barnacles over time, causing the boat not to perform properly. Although it may not be a pleasant job, the system must be cleaned, or the whole system will become broken.
Just as natural things get cluttered, clogged, and break down, your spiritual life can do the same. When that happens, it can affect you and your relationship with others as well as with God. What kind of baggage are you carrying that you need to get rid of?
Life does not always work the way we had planned. We experience disappointments and failures. We have what I call ugly life experiences. Our friends or family can hurt or disappoint us. All of a sudden, we begin to accumulate baggage in our life.
Baggage will keep you from experiencing the fullness of life that God has planned. John 10:10 (NLT) says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Baggage keeps us from walking in the perfect plan of God.
Oftentimes, we do not even realize the baggage we are carrying. We have become so used to it that we have become friends with it. I carry a lot of bags. I have bags for everything and keep stuffing them (including my purse) with so much junk that they become very heavy. Yet because I carry those bags every day, I have become accustomed to them. I don’t even realize how heavy they are until someone asks to carry them for me. They comment, “How on earth are you carrying these bags?”
David wrote in Psalm 139:23–24 (NLT), “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Being honest about ourselves and our thoughts is not always easy. Asking God to shine a light on all the garbage in our life, is a little intimidating and frightening.
What baggage needs to go in your life? Are you having trouble forgiving someone? The reason we struggle so much with forgiveness is that it runs contrary to our human nature. When someone offends us, there’s a natural tendency to resent it and retaliate. Jesus gave us the formula for forgiveness in Matthew 5:44 (NKJV), “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
Let’s look at other baggage that needs to be cleared out. Bad habits need to be removed. Profane speech needs to be cleaned up. TV shows might need to be turned off, and books need to be trashed. Fear is a giant piece of baggage. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV), “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
Remember, you are not alone. God will help you clean out the baggage in your life. He will give you the solution to every issue that needs to be resolved and restore your love, joy, and peace.
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