Hebrews 12:1 says…”Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us.”

      I heard about a pastor who wanted revival to come to his church but felt that his people were carrying too much extra baggage for God to bless his church. He had to fly to a conference in another city. As he was approaching the ticket counter a flight attendant said, “Check your baggage here, please. No luggage allowed on board. You will enjoy your journey much more if you are not carrying all that baggage.” This was repeated as each person checked in.

     God used that experience to speak to the pastor. On Sunday morning he left for the church with a big wooden box sticking out from the trunk of his car.

     As people began arriving at church that morning they saw the box there in the foyer at the doors of the worship center. Some chuckled, others looked perplexed, and still others looked disapprovingly. The sign on the box read: “NO BAGGAGE BEYOND THIS POINT. YOU WILL ENJOY YOUR TIME MORE IF YOU CHECK YOUR BAGGAGE HERE!” In smaller print at the bottom, the sign read, “If you wish you may reclaim your items as you leave.”

     Inside the box were several smaller packages, each bearing boldly printed labels. One said, “Bitterness”, another “Criticism.” Others were designated “self-centeredness”, “Complaints,” “Unforgiveness,” and “Pride.”

     The box remained for several weeks, and then was laid to rest in a corner of the janitor’s closet. It would be good to be able to report that the entire congregation of the good pastor’s church took the object lesson to heart and checked excess baggage. Some did. Many didn’t. When the box was stored away, it contained more wrapped packages than it had originally. Those who did “check their excess baggage” definitely did find their journey more enjoyable.

      It is important that we …”throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us” (Hebrews 12:1). If there are things in your life that you know are not pleasing to God, get rid of them. They will trip you up later, if they haven’t already and they will keep your prayers from being heard.