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    What To Do With All That Baggage?

    What To Do With All That Baggage?

    We've all heard at one time or another. "Careful about that one...they come with all kinds of baggage!"

    For those that are new to this phrase, what does "baggage" mean in this context? Without trying to over simplify things, it means that the person has a lot of past experiences that have taken root in their lives making it difficult to have a real relationship with them. Typically, this is viewed as a "bad" thing.

    In today's world, the general attitude of young people is not to engage in long term relationships but to get in and get out with what you want and not worry about the consequences. If a girl gets pregnant in the process, simple solution, get an abortion. No one gets hurt and everyone can have a good time doing what they like to do best. However, to the one who has had one or more relationships that went sour, this becomes a different story.

    Too many bad memories and bad experiences. Too many broken promises and failed expectations. It is these things that constitute what many consider "baggage". The general feeling or perspective is to avoid someone who cannot rise above those bad experiences. Many, if not most, have difficulty adjusting to life as usual after a bad relationship. These experiences tend to color their view and expectations of any new relationship where they will have a tendency to be on guard and more critical of any potential suitors so as not to open the door to another such bad experience as before with 'you know who'.

    It is no secret that bad experiences have that tendency to cause one to be extra careful when seeking out new relationships. The hunger for relationship is a strong built in motivator that once experienced, is hard, if not impossible, to resist entering into another for a wide variety of reasons. Some can go on and decide they never want to enter into a relationship again but want that intimacy with another but with no commitments. Others, feel a great pull or drawing to enter right away into another relationship but believe they can make a better selection than before. Some, having been in a failed marriage for a length of time, may begin to seek another relationship with long term goals with that new 'possible' but feel they are out of 'practice'. So they determine to take it real slow. Others who are older, feel their biological clock ticking and so do not want to waste too much time before they enter into a new relationship and tend to make the same mistakes as they did originally by letting their physical and/or emotional needs dictate to them what choices they will make.

    All the above examples and more, too numerous to account for in this article, can represent to a lesser or greater degree, people with "baggage" or emotional wounds that go unhealed. In this, these have many areas of unforgiveness, judgments and vows they carry forward which WILL affect any future relationship whether they believe they will or not. It is a known fact that whatever a person sows, they shall reap. It is commonly known under the phrase "what goes around, comes around".

    Most today who are coming out of a broken relationship, whether married or not, do not consider or believe they are in need of healing but feel they can just reassert themselves and go on. Unfortunately, this is not true. Bend a tree and it does not return to its original shape but remains bent. Tear a heart without applying a healing touch and the heart does not heal on its own but remains torn until and unless the proper application of healing takes place.

    BAGGAGE, as is the common term of these wounded and unhealed emotions, cannot disappear because one wills them to go away. Humans were never created to endure such pain and the cause of the pain, once taken away, will not automatically heal itself. Healing must be sought out and received as it will not occur on its own. Years of ministry in this area have proven this out. The bible has much to speak on this matter but few ever seek these truths out on their own and as such, continue in their broken state, carrying much "baggage" from one relationship to another with each new relationship getting worse and worse. Very few can move into another relationship where everything they hoped would be different, actually are. These are the exception rather than the rule.

    One thing that seems to get lost in all of this, is the love of God to each and every person involved. Focus is on the faults of the other person for what they did and rarely on the participation of self. Some may see their own involvement but lay the bulk of the blame on the failed relationship on the other person. The thought about God may enter into the picture but He tends to take a lesser role in the matter in most views. Invariably, one or both, see in the other a marked deviation from their faith in God while they see in themselves a helpless victim with no REAL fault.

    The truth is, no one comes away faultless. It takes two to interact and the vast majority of the time, both are deserving of blame. However, this is generally not seen this way and as such, one or the other sees no need to deal with their own hurt feelings, betrayals, rejections, offenses, etc. as they see the fault lies with the other one and not so much themselves. It is the fallen human nature that refuses to accept full responsibility for any failure. It is always easier to put the blame on others. For an example of this in the bible, we have only to look at the first relationship between Adam and Eve.

    Once Eve was tricked, deceived by the serpent and stretched forth her hand to eat of that forbidden fruit and gave to her husband, both of their eyes were opened and they saw their nakedness and immediately found some fig leaves to cover themselves with. Then when God came into the garden to resume His usual time with Adam, Adam was nowhere to be found and God called out to him saying, "Adam, where are you?" God did not need to know where Adam was for He already knew what Adam had done. It was for Adam's benefit He asked. Adam responded, "I hid because I was naked." God answered, "Who told you that you were naked?" When God challenged Adam about his part in this rebellion, Adam's response became an instant classic, "The WOMAN, YOU gave me, gave me to eat of that forbidden fruit and I did eat it."
    Genesis 3:11-12 (ESV)He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
    Notice how Adam did not own up to his own blame but placed the blame squarely on God and the woman! Mankind has been doing this ever since. In any kind of failure, we just refuse to see our part as it is easier to shift the blame elsewhere. So it is today. Instead of seeing our part, it is easier to point to the other person's faults and place the blame on them. We may see our own part but we still place the majority of the blame on the other one. We may not be innocent but their guilt is guiltier than our guilt. And so, this shifting of blame continues. The fact is, just as in alcoholism or any other addiction, until we can see and acknowledge our own fault, the healing process cannot begin.

    Until we take full responsibility for the failure of our relationship without passing on the blame to the other person, we will never heal our own hurts and as such, we continue to live with certain expectations in the next relationship. If that new person begins to show signs of failing as the other relationship did, we take immediate action by compounding our response in the new relationship with that of the previous one. Our old BAGGAGE has reared its ugly head and now, what we had hoped was going to be a better relationship, has quickly deteriorated to another failure. And so the cycle continues into a downward spiral where it seems to us that nothing will ever work as we hoped.

    The cure for all this is God. He has given us ample remedies in His Word to deal with ANY situation. The reason we fail is because we do not avail ourselves of God's answers to the difficult issues we face everyday, nor do we seek Him to determine what it is He wants us to do. We DO, however, pray to God to fix this person or that person so that these issues will be resolved. It is our reasoning that if God can fix the other person, then all things will be great. When this doesn't happen as we desire, we do not blame God or ourselves but continue to place the responsibility on the other one for being in rebellion against God and not applying God's word in their lives. Once again, we convince ourselves that we are the innocents and/or victims in this situation.

    Never does it occur to us that we may be the one who is just as much to blame as the other person. The word of God is clear about this issue:
    1 John 1:10 (ESV)If we say we have NOT sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
    The bible says that no one is innocent. We are all sinners and once we come to that place to where we can accept this truth, then we can finally start that journey towards ridding ourselves of our own baggage. This is not an instant cure. Many, if not most, assume that all they have to do is to confess their sin and all is taken care of. There is a process, however, that many or most are not aware of. A good picture of this process can be seen in many portions of scripture. Once of my favorites is the following:
    Exodus 23:27-30 (ESV)I will send my terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. 29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.
    The children of Israel are going into their land of promise. This new generation who grew up in the wilderness as that previous generation of those who had unbelieving hearts died off, were told by God that they would not be able to take their land in a short amount of time. There is no instant fix. Battles must be fought and won. God promised to go before them and aid them in driving out these other nations. The Israelites were too few in number to be able to completely take the entire land. They needed to take that portion of the land that God was giving them. Occupy that land until they increased in number and then God will guide them further to take even more land. The battles would not cease until every last one of those evil nations were destroyed from off the land.

    So it is for us. Before we came to Christ, Satan was our father as we were children of darkness and did according to all that we were taught of our spiritual father. Once Christ came into our lives, the battle for the land of our lives began. First we needed to circumcise our hearts, cross over our Jordan river (water baptism) and take our Jericho (that original commitment to allow our flesh to die) of whose foundations were never to be raised again. We are no longer to allow the foundations of our flesh to arise again.

    Now that we've died in Christ, we are risen with Him through His resurrection. We have entered into our new life and now the work REALLY begins. We are not finished once we've received our new life as most consider it. Many today feel that there is no more work to be done as it was all done at calvary. The finished work of calvary was just the beginning of our dedication and not the completion. Otherwise, why would the Word of God say that "He who started a good work in you will complete it." Just as a new life comes out of a pregnant woman, the work for that new life does not end there but is actually just beginning. Much work remains to love, train, teach, discipline this new life and prepare he or she for life as an adult, ready to face the challenges of life, hopefully, fully prepared in every way.

    When we came to Christ, just as Lazarus rose from the dead, there was still work to be done in his life BEFORE he could continue in this new life. His grave clothes needed removal as they would hinder his ability to move about and those grave clothes carried with them the very smell of death as well. Jesus commanded them, those nearest him, to loose him and let him go. And so, He commands us all to loose and let go all those who are newly risen from their death and into the newness of life. Those grave clothes, just like those evil nations in that land which would belong to Israel after those evil nations are removed, needed to be removed so that the clothing of the living can be put on. This is the work of grace, God's power and ability where we do not have it.

    Those grave clothes represent all those things that bound us while we were dead in our sin and continue to bind us after we have come into the newness of life. We are still bound by death in many ways. We have people that have harmed us throughout our lives that need forgiving. We have vows and judgments that we've made that have shaped our perspectives and as such, unless removed, will continue to guide our lives instead of the Holy Spirit by His Word. The wounds of our past are NOT healed and just as any wounds that have scabbed over but contain foreign agents or particles causing the wound to fester, so must our wounds be tended to. This requires removing the scabs, cleaning out the wound and applying healing balm on it that it may heal. Constant attention is needed depending on the severity of the wounds. This means that the wounds must be undressed, cleaned and fresh balm applied numerous times until the wound is no longer infected and can heal properly.

    The only way this can occur is we need each other. Just as there are parts of our own body we can neither reach nor see while others can, we need to learn how to confess our faults one to another so that we can be healed for the prayer of faith will heal the sick. When Lazarus first emerged from that tomb, he could not free himself as his arms and legs were bound and a cloth wrapped around his head as was typical for all those laid in the tombs. Once the removal of the outer layers of his grave clothes began, freeing his arms, legs and removal of that cloth around his head, THEN Lazarus could finish the removal of the rest of his grave clothes in the privacy of his own home. Then after they are removed, he can then bathe himself to remove that smell of death and put on the clothing of the living, which is the righteousness of God in Christ.

    The grave clothes represent unforgiveness, vows and judgments, mindsets and strongholds, wrong attitudes that do not line up with the heart of God, etc. We must go back to each offending experience in our lives and forgive all those who have hurt us, whether they actually harmed us or we perceived they did. The effect is all the same to us. Once we have forgiven them, then we must break all our promises we made to ourselves according to Leviticus 5:4. According to this verse, there are no good vows, because good or bad, we pit our own will against God's will. Any time we say to ourselves that WE can do something, we declare that we have no need for God. This is what got man in trouble from the beginning.

    Until we can recognize our complete need for God, we will never turn to Him until we have exhausted ourselves trying to do it ourselves. Then is when we call out to Him. Bad mistake. As long as we demonstrate we have no need for Him and yet expect Him to come to our rescue when we finally realize the mess we got ourselves into, He may or may not respond. The bible is full of examples where God was never pursued by the children of Israel and He promised them that when they fall and cry out, He may not answer them until such time as they recognize their total need for Him. We MUST adopt an attitude that we CANNOT do anything of our own accord. This is the same attitude that Jesus, God's own Son, adopted for Himself. He said:
    John 5:19-20 (ESV)
    19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.
    If Jesus could not do anything on His own, how then do we even consider that WE CAN?! Jesus showed us the way to the Father and only through faith in HIS way can we see the Father and have entrance into His kingdom. If we do not do as Jesus did, then how can we expect to receive what Jesus has promised us? The way to the Father is to empty ourselves of ALL self-reliance and adopt for ourselves total DEPENDENCY upon Him. We need to learn of Him and in the learning and getting to know the Father, will we finally see who we are in Him. Once we know this, everything in our lives takes on a whole new meaning and we can begin to see His purposes in us. Self-reliance is the enemy at work in our lives to separate us from God while the emptying of ourselves towards total reliance on God is the way to freedom.

    This needs to be our attitude while those grave clothes are being removed and we grow up in Him and the knowledge of Him. Only when we allow ourselves to go through this cleansing process can all this baggage, all the grave clothes, all the evil nations that had occupied the land of our lives, be removed forever. Then, and only then, can we look forward to that which God sees as our needs for He loves us beyond our capacity to understand and sees all our needs and meets those needs through His best choices for us. He is not like our earthly parents who mixed their own fleshly desires and shortcomings in guiding us but God is not a man and has no other agenda for us except His best for us. His purpose in us is to draw us to Himself so that we may KNOW Him and His love for us. It is this ministry of reconciliation that He is working in order to draw us to Himself so that we may know Him and be healed and delivered of all those things that bring about the judgment of death in our lives. It is His desire that we live and where He is, we may be also.

    Once we have learned this truth, let us commit ourselves to allowing the Spirit of The Lord to act in our lives and remove all that excess baggage including judgments, vows, mindsets, strongholds and put on His righteousness instead of our old grave clothes. For if we walk in Him, He will guide us daily in all areas of our lives and in all our decisions, as long as we yield that right to Him. Becoming love slaves of the Father is the very BEST thing we can ever do. Then, when the time comes, God Himself, will reveal to the whole world, His sons and daughters who live according to His heart and no longer according to their own.

    What about those who have not had any previous relationships?

    Everything till now has been about those who have endured difficult or impossible to live with relationships. But what about those that have never entered into a relationship? Everyone, without exception, carries "baggage" of their own unless they came from a perfect family with no form of dysfunction at all. Even, these perfect families, because of the uniqueness of each individual growing up in even perfect families, do not all see things the same as someone else and so what is perfect for one may be imperfect to another.

    Every family, to some degree or another, are dysfunctional. No one is born righteous and as such, are fair game to the powers of darkness who seek to invade and occupy the land of their lives, even from birth. So many I have ministered to over the years have had some form of issue that occurred from the moment of conception and in this way, carried that generational curse or rejection from birth. Many came into this world with much difficulty. One such woman comes to mind that was born to a woman with a venereal disease.

    The mother was told by the doctor that her baby would die during child birth and even if it survived, would be blind. The mother refused this diagnosis and as a result, her baby girl lived and was not blinded. No apparent adverse affects at all and this baby grew up to be a wife and mother and a woman with a strong faith in Christ. She prayed healing for people and God healed everyone she laid hands on to pray! Just one problem appeared. Everytime she laid hands on someone to be healed, they were healed but her own hands and feet would become numb. When she told my wife this, she spoke only Spanish, my wife told me as she asked if something could be done.

    I assured her something could be done and arranged for her to come back again on a later date to our home. Once she arrived, we gathered around the table and I aked The Lord to show me the root. Immediately I saw two things...blindness and death. This woman did not even need glasses and she was very much alive but God's word to me has never been wrong. I understood by the Spirit of The Lord that both of these happened at childbirth. I asked about her childbirth, if her mother ever talked to her about it and she knew the whole story and related it to me. Both the blindness and death were word curses spoken over her by the doctor. Although she survived physically, the demonic came into her anyway as she nor her mother were saved at that time.

    Her testimony confirmed what God showed me and we broke the power of those words in her life and drove the demons out of her. From that time forward, she no longer had her hands or feet grow numb by laying on of her hands and praying for healing. The cause was removed because of the blood of Jesus and the command for these things to leave in Jesus' name.

    Every person that is born into this world from their human father's seed, carries with them, generational curses (unless they have been broken in Jesus' name) and may have demonic infestations from the womb. Everyone after birth, since growing up in a dysfunctional home, meaning with parents who are not fully submissive to the Holy Spirit and been cleansed themselves, will have wounds and issues of unforgiveness, judgment and oaths or vows they've made in reaction to the moments they've experience injury, whether physical, emotional or mental.

    The same process of inner healing and deliverance is required on each and everyone of us. The new birth in Christ did not remove the grave clothes but those things that bound us in death continue to bind us in life...that is why Jesus commanded those around Lazarus to loose him and let him go. What killed him has been removed but the effects of death still needed to be removed.

    We all, as human beings, carry with us into our adult life, the marks and scars of past hurts, misunderstandings, judgments, rejection and all those things that have worked against us to attack our right to live and live peaceably. All these adverse experiences are our own "baggage" that we carry into relationships and affect us adversely as we engage with one another in our relationships. We all have our unique views and mindsets and expectations of what we want in our relationships. Unless we've allowed the blood of Christ to judge, condemn and kill that flesh in us and received the newness of life found only in Christ and rid ourselves of these past judgments and mindsets, we will carry these into our relationships as well as those who enter into relationship with us. Combine these two together and you can have a volatile mixture, ready to explode over any one of those previously unhealed, unredeemed issues.

    God sent Jesus to rid us of our "baggage" so that we may adopt for ourselves His ways, His thoughts, His truth and in so doing, allow His truth to make us free so that we may become useful members of His kingdom so that we may rule and reign WITH Him, in heavenly places and no longer from an earthly or worldly perspective. The process for this healing remains the same. Forgive others who have injured you. Break agreement with the judgments made against those persons. Ask God's mercy and grace on those who have injured us. Break and disavow all promises made to ourselves, even the "good" vows as these pit our will against God's will. Then drive out every demon that has entered into us as a result of our agreement with them. For when we were once children of darkness, the spirits of darkness had free access to our lives as we found ourselves in agreement with them and their steal, kill and destroy. True life and peace can come from only one source.....God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.

    It is time now, to rid ourselves of our unwanted baggage and enter into the "eye of the needle" being completely stripped of all our baggage, into that place of peace and safety behind the walls of our salvation and into that great city called, the New Jerusalem! Nothing that causes death or destruction is allowed in this new city. All must be stripped of anything they carry that is not from heaven. So let us seek to enter in at that gate called straight and never seek to load ourselves down again with this kind of baggage. Jesus promised us that His burden was light. This is also to say that the burden we carry of our past unforgiveness, judgments and vows are burdens too heavy for anyone of us to carry. This is why Jesus calls for us to learn of Him because once we can truly see Him, we will see that His burden that He is giving us is not made up of any wounds as He took those wounds on Him to the cross so that we can be truly healed.

    So let us unburden ourselves and yield our hearts to Him and the Holy Spirit and seek that these heavy burdens be removed from us so that we too may be able to enter into that new and perfect city, the New Jerusalem....our possession of perfect peace!

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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