January 21, 2018
By Ed Young
Life comes with baggage. Some of the baggage is emotional. Some is relational. Some may be spiritual. But no matter what the baggage looks like, we all have some. Why we carry it and how we carry it may vary. But we all carry it. In this message, Pastor Ed Young helps us take a look at the baggage we carry. And more than that, he helps us to come to a point of handing it all over and experiencing true freedom in Jesus!
It’s a pretty sweet SUV, isn’t it? Pulling a boat? Well, the boat’s next week. You don’t want to miss the boat story because it’s something that we need to deal with. If this is your first time here you might be going, why in the world do you have an SUV on stage? I mean, why the car on stage? Well, last week I told a little story about what happened.
Well last week I told a little story about what happened when our adult children were children. We took a weeklong vacation in beautiful San Antonio Texas. Really, though, when you take little kids, I said last time, on a vacation, it’s not a vacation it’s a family outing. OK? And many times after the family outing the parents need a vacation, so don’t call it a vacation. Anyway, we had and we have so many kids we had to pack the car. We packed the suitcase and luggage on top of the car using a luggage rack. So we finally made it back to Dallas and I drove into our neighborhood. And I was like, oh man this is so great to finally be home again. Our driveway was on an incline so as I approached the driveway and garage I instinctively pressed the garage door opener. The garage door opened. Then you have to kind of, you know, mash the accelerator, kind of push the accelerator kind of strong because you have to climb up this incline to get into the garage. Well, in my excitement I forgot about the fact that we had these giant piles of luggage on top of our SUV. So when I pressed the accelerator we flew into the garage and I heard this explosion! Drywall, and Nels, and bags were everywhere. Lisa and I looked at each other and we go, the luggage! The garage! Oh my gosh! We got out of the car and assessed the damage and it was very, very costly. I had forgotten about the luggage. I had forgotten about the fact that it wouldn’t fit into our garage and it caused a lot of destruction.
Last week we looked at each other and we said, hey, we can’t change. We said we all have baggage, we all have family baggage we are lugging around on our lives. And if we stop, and look around we see some of the destruction, some of the collateral damage that this bag which has caused. We admitted that. And for some of us it was like a wake-up call. For some of us it was the first time we had ever really thought about the baggage that we are carrying around in our lives. We also established the fact that every one of us is dysfunctional. We have dissed God’s function for our lives in some way, shape, or form. Oh, my family is dysfunctional. We are all dysfunctional now, I understand that. True dysfunction can be traced all the way back to the origin of our family of origin, Adam and Eve, because in the soils, in the toils of the Garden, Adam and Eve did their own thing their own way. They wanted to be the boss. They wanted to be like God. They wanted to simply say, you know what God? I’m going to run the show. You know what, God? I’m going to drive the vehicle. You know what God? I am going to have a white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel of my life. Yeah, there are dashboard warnings. Yeah, the fuel light is on. Yeah, I have a couple of flat tires, but I’m going to do what I’m going to do. And the Bible calls that attitude sin. It’s our depravity, it’s our dysfunction. We diss the function that God has for our lives. God wants us to function in a certain way, the best way, as a student, as a husband or wife, grandparents, as a manager, as a CEO, as a coach, as a nurse, as a physician. God wants us to function in a certain way. Yet, too many of us carry around bags of dysfunction. We forget we have baggage. The baggage has caused destruction and we don’t realize the cost of it. Dysfunction.
How many of you come from a dysfunctional family. For example, how many of you have grown up in a divorce situation? Lift your hands. In the balcony, divorce has affected almost all of us. And the stats on divorce are amazing. They’re sobering. If you read about it, so much of the stuff that comes out, happens when we are adults. So is it true that in our culture through dysfunction, through divorce, we treat children like adults and then when they become adults, we tend to act like children.
You know, years ago like in the 70s, people said divorce doesn’t affect or influence or mess up anybody. I mean it’s good for the parents, and it’s really eventually good for the kids. But the new research coming in isn’t very pretty, friends. It’s devastating. It’s dysfunctional. How about addiction? Maybe you grew up in the home of an addict, lift your hands. Alcohol was abused, drugs, maybe narcissism. I define narcissism as drinking yourself. There are a lot of dry drinks and there. They have the characteristics of an alcoholic or drug addict. They may be addicted to approval or to themselves.
So a lot of us have grown up in divorce situations. A lot of us a grown-up in situations where there is addiction, maybe abuse. Any verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse? In this series I talked with therapists. I talked to doctors. I talked to people in small group situations. I interviewed people. I looked at my own life and about my own life experiences, and then I went to the ultimate source, the Bible. And I realize that, wow, all of us have dysfunction. So for us to function the way God desires we have to deal with this dysfunction. But too many of us are in, did you see this? We did this, this week. Too many of us are in what? Not Denali, but Denial. Say it again. We are going to keep this on this car.
We are in denial. Are you kidding me? What? I don’t have any baggage. I don’t have any luggage. I’m not weighed down with dysfunction. Not me! Are you kidding me? You are a Louis Vuitton Linda. Are you kidding me? You are Samsonite Sam! Are you kidding me? You are TUMI Tina.
Oh I am, I don’t deal with that, man. I don’t deal with that. Yet you’re carrying around this heavy duffel bag of dysfunction. Trying to date. Maybe you’re online and trying to date. That’s were dating happens these days. Maybe you were trying to work as a coach in a school or you have this baggage. Maybe you were trying to negotiate life as a single parent. Maybe you’re trying to be the best husband, the best wife, the best schoolteacher, yet you have this baggage. Too many of us are in denial and what’s so funny is that those of us who are in denial are in denial about being in denial. That’s why you are in denial! So we are describing this SUV called denial and we are causing destruction in our lives and in the lives of others. It’s very costly. Let’s see what scripture says.
Hebrews 12:1-2, let’s read it together. “Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of this in that trips us up and fix our eyes on Jesus.” This baggage can mess us up. It can trip us up. It can cause us some serious problems just waited down. Yet how funny do we look in the eyes of God? Baggage? Me? I don’t have any baggage! Again, we have it because of our depravity, because of our sin nature. We have it because in our choices. We have it because of our family of origin. Baggage. Dysfunction. We diss God’s function.
Let’s say, for example, just use your imagination. Let’s say you met someone who owns the largest skyscraper in Dallas, which happens to be the Bank of America Plaza, 72 stories tall. And let’s say this person invites you and your family down to his building and he took you to the observation deck to check out the sights and sounds of Dallas. So you drove your Denial down to the building, VIP parking of course because this guy is very wealthy. Must be nice. Someday. Wow! You own this? You know? So we have special parking, private elevator up to the observation deck, and we are checking out the sites and the sounds on the building. I mean the tallest building in downtown Dallas. Wow! There’s Fair Park! Look at that bridge! Whoa, there’s Klyde-Warren Park! Yeah, American Airlines Center. I used to live over there. It’s amazing! Look at the growth that happened! All of a sudden, though, you’re standing on this observation deck and your worst nightmare becomes a reality. Your son goes,
“Dad I smell some smoke.” You’re like,
“Smoke? That’s just from that barbecue stand down there, see it? It’s really good barbecue, by the way.”
And the owner goes, “No it’s not! The building is on fire!” You’re standing on a towering inferno. Oh no! The elevator system is jammed, the stairs are closed, we’re going to die! And you look and your Yeezys are melting.
Some of you didn’t laugh. Just go home and Google Yeezys. I don’t have a pair but Kanye designed these things and people pay thousands of dollars for a pair of Adidas tennis shoes. They’re called Yeezys. Go figure. Anyway, your Yeezys are melting. Your hair is being singed. You’re standing on the 72-story building and you look through your tears and through the smoke and the flames, and you see a sole, solitary figure on the building adjacent to you, across the street from you. This building is only 65 stories tall. And you see this guy kind of moving around and he takes out the cannon. And you think, I’m dying and this guy is firing a cannon? Boom! He fires a cannon. Out of the cannon explodes a 3-inch wide steel cable. It flies from his building to your building, and the cable, like Batman, wraps around the air conditioning unit. And then to your shock you see this lone, solitary figure hop onto the 3-inch wide cable between the two buildings. And he’s doing some dance moves on it, and he’s walking around you know, 360s, all the stuff. And then you see him disappear and you see him bring out a wheelbarrow. And he wheels the barrow, I guess it’s called a barrow? Yeah, a wheelbarrow. He wheels the wheelbarrow across the 3-inch wide cable. Through the smoke, flames, he wheels the wheelbarrow right up to you. He looks in your eyes and he simply says, “Get in.” Get in the wheelbarrow. It’s your only chance of survival. Get in, I’m going to rescue you! Get in, I’m going to save you! Get in, get in, get in! What are you what do you do?
Last week we said, remember step 1? I can’t change. Step 2 – God is the only one who can change me. And then the true change comes because of the exchange. Jesus gave your life for your sins and mine, for your dysfunction and mine. And if we receive Jesus, he comes into our lives and we exchange our guilt for his grace, our mistakes for his mercy. Our sins for the Savior of the world. We said that. Well, step 3 is the wheelbarrow step. Step 3 says that our great God – don’t miss this – has spanned the chasm from one building to another. Our great God has sent Jesus to fire the cable from God’s side to man’s side. He’s crossed the cable. We’re in a towering inferno. He’s locked eyes with you and me and he looks at us and says, “Get in.” The wheelbarrow is right up in your grill. “Get in,” Jesus says. Get in. I have a will, W-I-L-L-barrow for you. Get in! Some of us have gotten in. Some of us have said, OK, Jesus I realize that I’m on a towering inferno and I get in. Others of us, though, standing here with our baggage (and my shoulder is hurting right now but because I have massive deltoids I can stand here for hours). Others of us here, we don’t comprehend our true condition. Again, we’re in denial. Fire? Yeah, my Yeezys are melting. Yeah, I have blisters on the bottom of my feet but I can take care of my situation! I’m the man. I’m the woman. I don’t really have dysfunction. I don’t really have issues. I can do what I need to do. Well, the Bible says this. Satan, who is the god of this evil world, has made him blind, unable to see the glorious light of the gospel that is shining upon him, or to understand the amazing message we preach about the glory of Christ who is in God.” That verse keeps doing, doesn’t it? So the person standing here in denial doesn’t get it.
So then we have the person who blames. You’re standing there on the observation deck, towering inferno, and you blame others. It’s my son’s fault. It’s my wife’s fault. You know, when I walked down the aisle and said “I do” I didn’t really mean it. How many times have I heard that load of crap? It’s my coach’s fault, my parents’ fault, my grandfather’s fault. I’m just this way. I can’t help myself. Well, that’s like saying. “OK, I’m 6’8”, 225 pounds, I have 5% body fat and a 40” vertical jump. I can’t help myself. I’ve just got to play in the NBA.” No, you have a choice. That’s what the homosexual crowd says. “Oh, I just can’t help myself.” Yes, you can be predisposed to homosexuality. You have a choice. “Oh I just have to sleep around, go from bed to bed. I’m just that way. My father was a ladies’ man. I just can’t help myself!” What are you smoking? Because you probably are. We have a choice. We all have predispositions, we all have tendencies. I understand that. Because look at our background, look at our origin of the family of origin? A crooked landscaper, Adam? The diva mom, Eve? Chose to sin, chose to rebel. We all have that tendency, we all do. Join the club! I’m not talking about genetics. I’m talking about something much more powerful than that. I’m talking about sin-etics.
In Hosea 4:4, let’s go, “Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame to him.” The Bible says this. And you go back to the soils of the Garden, go back to the mud. I mean, you’ve got Adam and Eve blaming each other. And then you have Eve blaming the snake, and the snake didn’t have a leg to stand on. Yeah. So. We love to blame.
And another reason we don’t get into the wheelbarrow is because of fear. We’re fearful. Oh no! What if I jump in the wheelbarrow, where will Jesus take me? He might take me to Borneo and I’ll become a missionary! Or he might crash my fun! We don’t really trust him. I’ll be less of a man or less of a woman. We don’t really trust him. He has the best way for us to function. His way works. And then some of us do this. We take out our duffle bag of dysfunction, take a knee, and we go, “OK, Jesus. Yeah. Uh-huh, uh-huh. But look. I’ve got this approval situation.”
Maybe you grew up in a family that you’re just trying to hear the words that you never heard growing up: You matter. You’re great at that. I love you. A lot of people are being driven by that. Or resentment, you’re just resentful. It was unfair, the hand that you were dealt. Unfair, you say. Egotism. Pride comes before every single sin. It’s the precursor of every sin. Pride. You can’t go in an anger fit unless you have pride. You can’t go and take the lure of lust unless pride is in place first. You can’t get greedy unless you’re prideful or envious. It’s ugly. U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi, ugly! Pride is.
Then we have promiscuity. Why are people going, “You know what? I don’t want to get married. I don’t want to get married.” They’re saying that because they grew up in a divorce situation and they have zero trust in the institution of marriage. Also, too, many did not receive affection and love and they’re looking for it in the arms of another man or another woman. And what’s so ironic is that sexual intercourse you have oneness, and that’s the closest to God that many people will ever get. That’s deep stuff. Think about that.
Criticism. I want people to feel as miserable as I feel. You know, I grew up where I was criticized and where I heard criticism. And what do we do? We either repeat or repel it, and a lot of us repeat it. I’m just gonna build a wheelbarrow wall. I’m not gonna get in!
Anxiety. Oh that’s another major, major situation from dysfunction. Anxiety, anxious. Too much pressure too early. Research abuse, research children of addiction, research adult children of dysfunction and just think about divorce. Too much pressure was put on kids at too early an age. Couldn’t handle it and now they’re adults, they’re about to lose their mind because of anxiety!
Deception. It’s so funny I talked about deception last week, because in deception from a dysfunctional situation, we’re just deceptive just to be deceptive. We’ve seen deception and we’ve seen truth. We’ve seen the capriciousness of that, so a lot of people just lie just to lie. I talked about it last week. Sunday afternoon Lisa and I had two people in their 70s look into our eyes and lie to us three straight times. Right after the service! Is that crazy? Deception.
And don’t try to figure it out. It was just some situation and it was sad and that’s the way it is. People like, “I wonder what happened? Where were they?” The big idea is deception! Don’t worry about it. We’re doing great, OK? Isn’t that funny how nosy we are? I’m the same way. Where were you? I know what you’re thinking. What were they doing?
Forgiveness! That’s another one, forgiveness. Forgiveness is the greatest gift so often that you need to give yourself. Maybe you grew up in a family where there was no forgiveness. Or maybe you’re harboring this hurt and you’re like, I’m not going to release my father. He took advantage of me. He said that, or that person or that situation, but we build that on the wall that keeps us from the wheelbarrow.
Control. I was out of control, my family was, so I’m gonna be in control. And maybe someone in your family controlled everything. You know what I’m talking about? You’re like, my mother ran the show. She controlled my father. I mean, it was sad! Talk about domination. Or maybe your father did. Or maybe you were in another situation. Control. So what happens? You repeat that. Or maybe your home was out of control and you’re like, I’m gonna control my life. I’ll tell you one thing I’m gonna control, money. I’m gonna be the control freak! I’m gonna control people in my life. I’m gonna control. Isn’t that something that we deal with? Uh-oh. No, it’s not gonna work. I’ll just do that like that because I can’t control it. You know, my nose is kinda runny. Would you mind handing me? This is horrible. I talked about Lisa. If you missed this message I talked about Lisa blowing her nose so much. Excuse me. And I said I never blow my nose. We had a friend over at our house yesterday, one of Lisa’s friends, and I went to blow my nose. She goes,
“Wup! Caught you! Blowing your nose!” Those of you who laughed were at that message when I talked about nose blowing. I’ll keep it. It might be a new style. Look at that! That looks pretty cool, doesn’t it? OK. Well, we’re having fun, aren’t we? Is this fun? It should be fun. Church should be fun. Church should be fun. Because these are heavy topics.
Perfectionism. Maybe that’s you. Anger. Oh, man. Took those emotions, stuffed them down as a kid. You stuffed them, you stuffed them, you stuffed, then and now they’re coming out! You watch. It’ll happen when you get older. Gotta deal with that stuff.
Trust issues. A lot of us have a hard time trusting because we’ve been messed around so much. We’ve been betrayed so much, so. Uh-oh. I just can’t balance it. Trust issues. So, we’re on this side. Jesus is on the other side. It’s the wheelbarrow step. We’re in denial, we blame, we’re fearful. We’re not desperate enough so we use these things and we double down on our dysfunction and when we double down on our dysfunction it brings us to our knees.
Maybe you’re down on one knee… put the other knee down. Because these things will bring you to the bottom, rock bottom. And you might be saying, “Ed, I’m at rock bottom, man. I’m sitting on the last row, the last seat in the balcony up there and I am at rock bottom.” Good. You know why I say good? Because if you’re at rock bottom, God can build a foundation, and the rock is named Jesus, in your life!
#1 – I’m powerless, God. #2 – the second step – you’re powerful. You sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. And I want to get into the wheelbarrow.
ILLUS: I wore this coat today. You like this coat? I do. You know, I’ve always loved fashion and I can tell you how old everything I have is, if it’s an item of clothing, and where I bought it. I bought this across the street at that store, Last Call. But this coat is a magic coat, I tell you. I bought it and it was too big and I had someone tailor it after I bought it. It’s cotton, because I sweat a lot up here. Lactating. And what? This coat is magic. Let me show you who made it. New – I can’t pronounce the guy’s name – cantinalali or lini, or something. Anyway, I guess it’s Italian. Somebody read that for me? I don’t know what kind of coat that is. What’s that say? Tantarelli? Never heard of that. But I love it. What happened? Oh my gosh! Aaaah!! Embarrassing! AAAAHHH!!!! Anyway, I know I’m sweating … like a pack mule. But it’s all right.
This is a magic coat, it’s magic. And you might be thinking, OK, it’s 100% cotton, which I like. And normally I like to preach in it because I do perspire and it’s not as hot as some of the other coats. Some of the other coats I’m drenched, OK? But this coat is a magic coat and this coat has a real strong self will. When I bought it last fall, this coat is laced with technology. Watch this. Hey coat (you won’t believe this), lift your right arm please. Listen, I said lift your right arm. You’ve done it before. Lift your right arm, use your determination and will power, OK? Lift your right arm! Whoa, pathetic. OK. Now, coat, this is easy. Stand at attention. Watch this! Works every time. This coat, I’m telling you. With the technology and the will power, stand at attention. 1-2-3… pathetic. Helpless and hopeless, this old coat.
But… if I put the coat on… If I put the coat on.
When Jesus comes into my life, when I admit that I’m helpless, I can raise my right arm. I can stand at attention. I can get in the wheelbarrow and he will give me true, supernatural change. I’m helpless! I can’t do a thing! I’m like the coat. Have you admitted that? Have you said, Jesus, you’re all about change. I mean, you’re allowing these things to keep you from Jesus when… Get in, you say, and we can take all the blocks and put them in. Oh, turnover. Have you done that? Or are you still trying. Hey, I can do it! Raise my right arm! Stand at attention, I can do it! Or maybe you’re like, you know.
Here’s another thing that will keep you from jumping into the wheelbarrow: if you’re too pretty, too rich, or too smart. If you’re good-looking, great. If you have those genetics. If you’re good-looking it can be a block that keeps you from saying, “Lord, have you way in my life.” Why is that? Let’s say you’re a beautiful woman. All you gotta do is like, I don’t feel good. I’ll go with him. And I don’t feel that great right now, and because you’re good-looking they’ll give you a chance or an opportunity. If you wear the right stuff, wink at the right time, kinda look… oh you’ve got it made, man! Really?
Some are too rich. I mean there’s no such thing as being too rich, but you’ve got money and you can buy stuff to numb the pain. I have a control issue, approval, anxiety, I’ll just take a trip. I’ll just buy another blue, double-breasted magic sport coat. I’ll buy a new pair of shoes. I can buy my way out. I can charm my way out, because I’m good-looking.
Or you’re Mr. Smart Guy or Ms. Smart Girl. I can think my way out. I’ve got a brain, I’m really smart. I’m Mr. Smart Guy. You’re building is on fire! You’re standing on a towering inferno! I don’t care how good-looking you are, how smart you are, how big you are, how bad you are, how rich you are, you’re on fire, man. Get in the wheelbarrow. Get in the wheelbarrow. Because that guy, that day, jumped in the wheelbarrow in the story. Jesus turned and took him away, across the cable. Whoa! Through the fire and the flames, waaaaa!!! To places and a purpose like this guy had never seen before in his life.
Jesus, my friend, has pushed the wheelbarrow up to you. He’s locked eyes with you. He’s said I love you. I’ve forgiven you. I have a plan for you. Get in. Won’t you do that? Because when you do your life will never, ever, ever be the same.
[Ed leads in closing prayer.]