‘How do we drop the baggage in our lives?’- The Coastal Community Church Blog
As part of our series on healthy habits Pastor Mark Rowan spoke on the theme ‘How do we drop the baggage from our lives?’.
Hebrews 12:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
In the past couple of years as a family we have started to fly away to Spain for our holiday. A few days away before we fly, we pull the cases from the loft packing begins. When the flight day arrives we drag all the heavy cases into the car and lift them into the boot. When we finally arrive at the airport we join the queue, still dragging the cases! As we hand the cases at the luggage desk, the weight and the burden of the cases is lifted from us.
God wants to lift our burdens
God wants to lift the burden of old baggage off of your life today and exchange it for freedom and healing. God knows that sometimes life can be tough. He wants to help us run the race that he has set before us.
In Hebrews 12 we have this great imagery of each of us entering a race that God has set for us. It’s a race in which we need to be spiritually fit if we are to run well. Our race is inevitable and our baggage is optional.
So who are the great crowd of witnesses?
The great crowd of witnesses are those who are now standing on the sidelines. Those encouraging us and cheering us on. They are those who have run before us and run well. They are the heroes of faith we find in Hebrews 11. People like Jacob, Moses, Abraham, Noah and Enoch are the great witnesses.
These people faced trials tests temptations and opposition during their race. They never gave up and they never gave in. They ran well the race that was set before them. They are a great inspiration they are to us today.
So what are the weights and sins that slow you down?
Weights are heavy burdens carried by believers. Anxiety, depression, worry, stress, hurt, regret, addiction, shame, guilt and rejection weigh us down. They are chains that bind the emotions. They are areas where God wants to bring deep healing and restoration.
Proverbs 12:25 New King James Version (NKJV)
25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.
In Mathew 18:21-22 Jesus talks to his disciples about unforgiveness.
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven
Unforgivness only effects your heart and your life. God has not called you to live bound in unforgiveness. God has called you to live by faith in peace and freedom.
Offence is also a weight that will slow you down. It is a spirit that cripples friendships and relationships. Jesus gave us a strategy on how to deal with offence.
Matthew 10:11-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. 12 And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
Craig Groshel quotes: “Your life is too short and your calling is too great to live offended.”
Sin is an obstacle that will always seek to trip you up. Sin will always seek to disqualify you. Anger, hatred, lust are the kinds of things that trip us up. God sees everything! Gods grace is sufficient for you today if you repent.
So how do we run well?
We run well by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Hebrews 12:2-3 English Standard Version (ESV)
2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Hows your race going? Jesus died upon the cross at calvary for the sins of the world. He rose from the grave three days later in victory to take your burdens.
Matthew 11:28 New International Version (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
THE POWER IN THE WAIT - Coastal Community Church Blog
Reading time: 03:40
Pastor Mark Rowan spoke about the Power of The Wait on Sunday the 20th January.
We constantly have to wait. We wait at a doctors or dentist or in a traffic queue. God uses waiting for His good purposes in our lives.
Its good to consider two key questions:
How do we wait on God?
How does God work in our waiting?
Isaiah 40:31 New King James Version (NKJV)
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
The context of Isaiah 40:31 is that God’s people are being held captive by the Assyrians in Babylon. Isaiah encourages the people to wait on God. As they do this they will not grow weary and God will deliver them. There is a time and season for everything. Throughout the Bible God tells us to wait.
The key to God’s anointing is to wait upon God.
How do we wait on God?
The dictionary defines waiting: as, “pausing with great expectation”.
We get into the ‘secret place’. Waiting on God means getting alone with God in His presence. It’s a place to stop and yield to Him. As we spend time with God we lay down our agenda and seek His will. It’s a time to pause.
Psalm 62:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
Truly my soul silently waits for God;
Our soul is our emotion and intellect. As we wait on God we quieten our thoughts and emotions. As we wait we worship God. As we wait on God we can talk to Him and listen to what He wants to say.
As we wait on God he reveals more of Himself to you.
Psalm 46:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 Be still, and know that I am God;
There’s Power in the Waiting
God is always working in our waiting. As we wait in His presence God produces patience. As we wait God can do His greatest work in our lives. God will show us what He is calling us to do.
God asks us to be patient and draw on Him. God is outside time and His ways are not always our ways. God uses His timetable to bring about the results for us to bring about His will.
God works in the waiting. Noah waited 120 years before the floods arrived. Abraham waited 14 years for the son God promised him. Joseph was in prison for 13 years. As these men of God waited, God was working. As each of these men waited, God He renewed their strength.
Isaiah 40:31 says, the Lord shall renew their strength. ‘Shall’ is a promise. God will rent your strength. When we wait on God, something powerful happens and God renews our strength. Renew means to give fresh strength, to revive, to revitalise and to awaken.
In the world we get physically stronger as we lift weights and change our diets. In the kingdom of God our strength comes from waiting in the presence of God.
Isaiah describes those that wait on the Lord shall “mount up with wings like eagles”.
The Hebrew culture saw eagles as strong and courageous warriors. They protect their young. They can weather all storms by flying above the storm, gliding on the thermals. As their feathers get old they renew them.
If we try and do things in our strength we will get tired and weary. When we wait on Him he will supply the strength and power to accomplish His will.
The impact of waiting
Many of you have seen the film "Chariots of Fire", an outstanding film about a Christian, Eric Liddell. Liddell refuses to run in the prestigious 100 meters in the 1924 Paris Olympics. He refused because it involved racing in a pre-heat on a Sunday, which he believed to be an ungodly use of Sunday.
Liddell was probably the fastest man alive at that time and had been the favourite to win the race for Britain. The Press and even the Prince of Wales tried to talk him into running but he refused. Instead, he went to the Scottish Presbyterian church that Sunday. He read the lesson from Isaiah 40 verse 31, which seem to capture the situation.
However, he was given the chance to race for Britain in the 400 meters a race he had never even run before. And God honoured him for his stand. Liddell ran the 400 meters at a 100 meter pace. The experts thought he was running the first 100 meters too fast and would tire later in the race. But it wasn’t to be and he won with a new world record.
As Liddell waited on God, trusted Him and he became the fastest man on the planet.
Have you neglected the secret place? Do you make time to wait on God?
Matthew 11:28 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Find a quiet place today to switch off from the business of life, make time to be with God, lift your hands and invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you rest in His presence.
There is power in the waiting.
God is always working in our waiting.