Most modern-day Christians have lost the spiritual art of traveling light. In Mark 6:7-9, Jesus calls His disciples to Him in order to send them out for Him. His instructions are quite simple; He tells them to “take nothing for the journey,” except “a staff only.” They are to take “no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse,” but only to be “shod with sandals” and clothed with one coat. In other words, they were to travel light.
Christ’s disciples can neither get to where they’ve been commissioned to go nor carryout what they’ve been commissioned to do if they are weighed down with excessive baggage.
Self always lugs around loads of luggage wherever it goes. It goes nowhere without a grip of gripes and grudges, an attache case of carnal appetites, bags filled with bellicose, suitcases filled with sanctimoniousness and a big steamer trunk filled with self-infatuation. Toting around such a tremendous load prohibits us from getting anywhere for Christ. We simply can’t afford to take self along as a traveling companion on our spiritual pilgrimage in this world, lest we be bogged down and unable to get anywhere.
In order to run the Christian race, the Book of Hebrews instructs us to “lay aside every weight” and to live our lives “looking to Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2). In other words, we are to rid ourselves of self’s encumbering baggage by turning our attention away from ourselves and focusing it on Christ alone. Only by doing so can we hope to cross the finish line someday for the glory of God.
Apart from Christ, who once said, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath no where to lay his head,” the Apostle Paul is probably the best scriptural example of one who traveled light. In Philippians 4:11-12 (NIV), Paul writes, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
When you’re willing, like Paul, to forfeit self’s cosmetic case (vanity), it’s garment bag filled with fashionable apparel (worldliness) and its picnic basket filled with craved cuisine (carnal appetites), there is no chance of your spiritual trek being slowed down or spoiled by self’s leaden or lost luggage. You can travel light, unimpeded by self’s cumbersome carryalls. Your God-given tasks will become paramount in your life rather than self’s trappings and trivialities. Consequently, you’ll be enabled to get to wherever Christ wants you to go and to do whatever Christ wants you to do.