This morning as I was praying for different ones, the Lord showed me a picture. It was a huge, lumpy-looking bag similar to what Santa’s bag looks like when it is full. Then I saw the string holding the top of the bag fall away and the bag opened up. Inside were rocks and stones of various sizes. Some were large boulders, some just small hand-sized rocks. Some were smooth, but others had ragged edges. As I looked closer to all these rocks in this huge bag, there were different things written on them. They said things like failure, offense, pain, divorce, loss, grief, unforgiveness, infirmity, disease, poverty, greed, self-pity, etc. Some of these stones had been worn smooth with worry. Others had rough, jagged edges that poked through the bag to jab whoever was carrying it.
Then the Lord spoke to me about the rocks in the bag. He said that most of His people carry these bags. Some bags are very large, while others are much smaller. All these are burdens that should have been laid at the foot of the cross, but His people keep picking up the bags and taking them with them. Some people sleep with their bags thereby becoming weary from lack of rest. Some take their bags with them to work which serves to reduce their productivity and success. Others plop their bags in front of friends and relatives. When someone is presented with someone else’s bag and they recognize that they can’t deal with this, they sometimes throw stones back at the original person’s bag. Offense and unforgiveness can then take root in both. Sometimes friends and relatives will take rocks from the bags sitting in front of them and add them to their bag. This then increases the burden of the friend or relative, neither of whom was ever intended to carry any of this. The net effect of carrying these “rocks” is that God’s people are so over-burdened by loads they were never designed to carry that they are unable to find out the purpose for which they were born. They miss their calling in life and never open the gifts that God has for them.
The Lord says “LAY IT DOWN, LAY IT DOWN, LAY IT DOWN”! Don’t pick it back up again. Decree over each and every rock that it is broken off of you. Decree that you are covered by the blood of Jesus and that ALL your cares are cast on Him! Forgive all who have offended you, and forgive YOURSELF! When the little voice in your head tells you to pick up one of your favorite rocks, or worry about some of them tell the little voice to take a hike! When someone you love wants you to have a pity party with them and put some of their rocks in your bag, tell them NO! Tell them you love them too much to allow either of you to carry these rocks any longer. Pray and release them all to Jesus.
I love how Jesus relates the answer to this problem in the Message Bible: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30)