my mind is the phrase, "unnecessary baggage." At the
beginning of Genesis 12, God called Abram to leave
everything - his country, his people, and his father's
household. God was taking him to a new land, and would
make him into a great nation. Abram was going to be
blessed. In fact, all people on earth would be blessed
It is challenging to look at how Abram left. Verse 5 says
that he took his wife, his nephew, all their possessions,
and the persons they had acquired. As we try to picture
this scenario in our heads, it just seems that Abram would
have needed several U-Haul trucks to make this move.
The fact that they didn't have the convenience of U-Haul
makes this journey really appear difficult, to say the
This picture encourages us to consider a couple of key
questions about how we approach our own journeys with God.
What unnecessary baggage am I carrying?
Our lives are full of transition. God is constantly
leading us into new territory as he works on molding us for
His Kingdom. Sometimes, we don't want to go where God is
taking us, while other times, we can't wait to get out of
our present condition.
Every situation we experience has a lasting effect on us.
Some are more obvious. Some are more painful. Some cause
us to close up or put up walls to protect us from future
But those walls don't always do what we designed them to
do. While those barriers may be keeping "things" from
getting to us, they are also restricting our access to
things we may need in the next stage of our lives.
Imagine with me what it would be like to climb a mountain
with a huge, heavy backpack. How much easier would our
climb be if we didn't have to carry anything on our backs?
Let's examine ourselves to see what burdens we may be able
to unload to make our journey through life a little simpler.
Am I really trusting God on my journey?
Abram's caravan also leads us to rethink how we pack for a
trip. Moms are notorious for this, but I'm sure just about
any traveler can relate. Any time we are going to be away
from home for an extended amount of time, we start creating
dozens and dozens of "what if" scenarios to help us
determine what we are going to pack.
Each scenario gets more outrageous, and we find ourselves
packing things that we have the most remote chance of
needing. For example, do we really need 5 or 6 outfits
and/or pairs of shoes for a weekend trip?
The same applies to our life in general. Are we holding on
to things just in case we need them, or are we trusting God
to provide? This can be at home, where we are storing
stuff that we haven't used, yet alone looked at, in years.
This can also be in our finances, where we are holding on
to multiple credit cards for those times when we find
something that we really want but can't afford. Hebrews
13:5 tells us, "Keep your lives free from the love of money
and be content with what you have, because God has said,
'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" (NIV)
If we are unwilling to let go of some of the things we are
holding on to, where will we find room for the new
blessings God has planned for us?
Do we really need to worry about anything with God in our
lives? 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on Him
because He cares for you." (NIV)
The challenge comes with slowing down enough to allow God
to take control over our lives. If we think about the
earlier reference to carrying the backpack up the mountain,
we need to give that backpack to God. Psalm 46:10
instructs us, "Be still, and know that I am God." (NIV)
We should thank God that He loves us enough to carry our
burdens. Let's pray for a heart of complete obedience
toward a Father who only wants the best for us.
Ozeme J. Bonnette is a financial coach, speaker, and the
author of Get What Belongs to You: A Christian Guide to
Managing Your Finances. After working at Merrill Lynch, she
chose to focus on increasing financial literacy. She
teaches Biblical Economics and speaks to groups and
organizations throughout the U.S. She earned 3 Bachelor's
degrees at Fresno State and an MBA at UCLA's Anderson
School. Find her at http://www.thechristianmoneycoach.com .
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