We’re packing for a summer road trip with Christ. We’ve given Him our hearts as Christians, and for some reason we were still sitting in our cells even though the door was opened. We had placed self-imposed chains on ourselves, and even though they weren’t locked we sat there, believing the lie of each chain.
Deciding that we’ve had enough, we took the chains off, stood up, and each of us walked out of our individual cell. Enough of this!
Leaving the stale, fake-gilded cell, we freely walked out into the yard where Jesus is standing under a huge green tree. In the clean and fresh air His voice goes out like music. He’s giving instructions on how to pack for the summer road trip. So far we’re told to pack Prayer, Co-operation, Believing, and our Weapon.
Now He’s telling us what not to pack! These are things that we are to leave behind. We do not need them, for not only will they get in our way, but they will cause us to stumble on the journey.
Do NOT pack these items: This instruction is not optional.
SELF-LOATHING and SELF-SUPERIORITY – DO NOT BRING! Loathing is self-hatred, self-dislike, self-disgust, self-aversion, or self-abhorrence. The coin of pride has two sides. One says, “I hate myself, I hate myself, I hate myself!” The other side of pride says, “Look at me, look at me, look at me!” Self-superiority is conceit, egotism, or vanity. You must become less as Jesus becomes more. He is the preeminent One that is to be lifted up on this trip and always in your life. Pride in any form will harm rather than help, so do not take a mirror on this trip. Leave all forms of pride at home…in fact, every day it’s wise to put your pride in your mental trash can. Don’t keep it around. Ever.
MICROWAVE MENTALITY – DO NOT BRING! The purpose of learning to love Jesus more and growing in Him is to have a real and intimate relationship with Him, to be with Him and enjoy Him. He also created you for Himself in order to enjoy you! This requires one-day-at-a-time walking. Do not bring your “microwave mentality,” the “hurry up” mindset of “gotta get this thing done FAST!” Remember that God is not your Genie, and your wish is not His command. Yes, there will be times when we will need to walk faster, even to run. There will be times when we will need to walk slowly, and there will be times when He says, “Stop here for awhile.” He decides the itinerary for our summer trip.
PERFECTION – DO NOT BRING! There is One who is perfect. One Triune God: YAHWEH, CHRIST, THE HOLY SPIRIT. You are not Him. Do not bring perfection along on this trip. Perfection has a hook: pride. When you fall, and you will, cry out to Jesus. Do you remember when Jesus pulled Peter out of the water when he was walking over to Jesus on the water itself? He will immediately pick you up! Cry out and then don’t beat yourself up. Hold fast again to The Spirit’s Hand and keep going. You have to fall in order to learn. That’s part of the process. Keep going – do not stop. If you cry out for 2,000 times, it doesn’t matter! It could be that the 2,001st time you will be victorious!
JUDGEMENT – DO NOT BRING! Leave any and all judgement behind. Do not pack this. It should not be anywhere near your luggage or on your person. Ever. Others will fall down. You will hear the cries of others as we travel. Follow the instructions of our Tour Guide and help pick them up. You just don’t know, you may fall the next second and you’ll want someone to help you out without judging you! The other side of the coin is, you will fall down. Since we’re not bringing perfection along, judgement on ourselves is also not allowed. God Alone is Judge. He is the Only One Who can handle judgement – and that’s because He is the Only One Who is Holy!
FEELINGS – DO NOT BRING! Feelings can lie to us. “I don’t feel like it right now.” Most times, that sentence is framed in lies. God will instruct you in the way you should go on this trip so move with Him one step at a time. As you go with Him, He will pour on you what you need. You will receive from Him AS you move out. Do not pack feelings! They will only cause you to stumble as you walk. Besides, feelings are a heavy weight to bear and lugging them along keeps you from walking well.
So in your heart and mind, do not pack those things. Write them down. Read that note every morning to remind yourself what you did not pack. It helps to remind yourself as we travel what isn’t in your luggage. Those five items are habits that are easily accessible so it’s good to remember that you left them behind. We’re almost ready to go!
Scripture to ponder: Psalm 1
Today’s weapon: “The LORD is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.” Psalm 23:1