Going to the gym is prohibited now. My new year’s resolution got squashed by coronavirus. Lifting weights has never been my forte, but I do understand that carrying weights all day long is not healthy. Actually, some weights diminish your strength. There are a few extra loads that we carry on a daily basis that takes away the strength God gave us.
Elijah carried extra weight that he wasn’t supposed to carry and his strength was weakening. Carrying unnecessary heavy load does not make us stronger, it only makes us suffer. We need to learn when to let some weights down.
This week we will explore 6 heavy loads we are carrying that is weighing us down spiritually.
1 Kings 19:1-2 “1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.”
First load is the weight of offences. In life’s dealings, there will always be someone attempting to attack you. Maybe not literal as it was in the case of the threat of Jezebel towards Elijah. But maybe to offend our reputation, kill our dreams, attack our goals, put down our projects. Maybe you are experiencing this through harsh words, when a family member offends you saying “you will never amount to anything,” or “you are too young to be able to achieve it,” or “don’t even attempt that project because you won’t be able to finish it.”
When we receive verbal offences like these ones, we become aggrieved. Offences bring along with them frustration. Rage and anger ensue. That is why we have to be careful with this load, because something so small becomes heavy in an instant.
Anger is no sin (Eph 4:26). But what are we doing with the extra weights we are receiving? The problem is not only the offence; but choosing to hold on to this extra load. We can’t choose when to be offended, but we can choose what to do with it. Elijah was being attacked by Jezebel, but we see he fell for her trap. If we go back to remember, just moments ago this prophet had demonstrated the highest faith and strength in the Lord. But now, Elijah begins a descending slope.
The most important thing is not what you have heard from others, but what you do with what you hear. Everyone has received an offence intentional or unintentional. Even from those whom we love. But do not hold on to the offence. Forgive. Offences became hard to forgive because we are vindictive. We want others to pay or suffer the same amount or more for what we have been through. Let go of this heavy load. We are not to be vindictive. Let God be the judge. Vengeance belongs to the Lord (Deut 32:35; Rom 12:19).
Nothing can be said to liberate you from the pain of being offended. But letting go of the heavy load will help you in the process of healing. God will help you in the exercise of forgiveness. You will only be strong spiritually if you let go of unnecessary weight and start lifting the proper equipment (forgiveness in this case). Carrying the load of the offence throughout the day won’t make you fit, but exhausted.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31). If someone rejects you, they are rejecting the One who created us. If you feel offended, become like the little ones and go tell you Father, let Him deal with it. Don’t try to justify or vindicate; allow your heavenly Father to solve the conflict. Tell Him. Cry out to Him your worries and pain.
What will you do with the offences you carry? In the name of Jesus, bring them to the cross and let them go under the feet of the God of the universe.
Pr. Lincoln Nogueira