By: Pastor Brian Huff

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us.

Hebrews 12:1 AMP 

Have you ever packed a suitcase for a weeklong trip, whether for vacation, a mission trip, or business? Have you ever had to pack under the suitcase size and weight limit restrictions of an airline? I can be honest in saying I can pack for a whole week in a carry-on bag. That includes a week’s worth of clothes, an extra pair of shoes, a book to read, and my Bible. This is not so easy for my wife!

She overloads almost every time. When we were a newly married couple and had to fly somewhere, it was very common to find us at the checked baggage line shifting her excess baggage weight over to my organized duffel bag. A huge sigh of relief would come when her bag finally met the 50-pound limit and my bag could still fit in the overhead compartment as a carry on. Now we spend more time in the packing process. It’s not about what fits anymore, it’s about what’s necessary. We learned that just because we can cram it in somewhere, doesn’t mean we have to have it on our trip.

It should be the same in our walk and relationship with God. He isn’t asking you to hold everything you can. Actually, He is asking you to lay down everything you can. We all know sin derails our walk with Christ, but so does excess baggage. We can overload our lives with things, people, obsessions, fears, hurts, or unforgiveness—things we think we can’t live without. It leaves us exhausted and moving slowly, if moving forward at all, in our run with Christ. My advice today is to “unpack.” If it’s necessary but too heavy, let Jesus carry it. He knows how to handle the things you can’t hold. Besides, the less you pack for the trip, the more room in your luggage for souvenirs!!