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A Devotional:

“The Baggage of Our Lives”

28) Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

– Matt 11:28-30 ESV

The first two kings of Israel were a stark contrast in men and leaders. There are many differences between the two but one of the greatest was how they handled their baggage. When Samuel went to publicly proclaim Saul as king and present him before the people, he was nowhere to be found. When Saul finally was found, he was 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 appointed him to be, but instead, he was hiding in the baggage. He was hiding in the stuff. God has called each of us to fulfill the purpose He has given us, but so many times we fail to accomplish it 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. It may have been the baggage of jealousy of David or the baggage of unrepentance for his disobedience to God and past failures. Whatever it was, his baggage always weighed him down. Saul lived his whole reign hiding amongst the baggage that 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, freedom from those bags.

David, on the other hand, handled baggage quite differently. In 1 Samuel 17:17, 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. Their giant Goliath was on one side, and the Israeli army was 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. David ends up doing the complete opposite of what Saul did just 7 chapters earlier. Scripture tells us in 1 Samuel 17:22, “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 go and you can’t 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 will take all of our stuff for us?

Jesus calls out to every one of us from the cross to come and lay our baggage down so we can be free 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?”. Far too often we pick up the very baggage we turned over to Jesus and start carrying it 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?

(Psalm 86:5; John 7:37; Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 5:3)

Written by: FBCBA | CBC – Adult Ministry

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