Traveling light holds one of the Bible’s best-kept secrets. Learning to live in the overflow is the key. In Matthew 10:10, Jesus sent the disciples out with some great advice saying, “travel light.”
Yep, that’s what He said. However, my hands are so full I can’t pick up the last item on my list. Clearly, I haven’t learned the secrets to traveling light. In fact, my jam-packed, maxed-out schedule leaves me weary. There’s not a moment left to do the one thing I know needs doing. The worst part, I live exhausted; my heart’s so full I’m afraid it’s going to spill out of my mouth. Now, that would be dangerous.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed to the point of being incapacitated? Ever been in the place where there’s just too much to be done in your day?
We’ve been given something very important to carry in the Kingdom. Yet, our hands are overflowing with the excess we’ve picked up along the way. Obviously, we need to learn the secrets of traveling light. Because power pours out when we live in the overflow instead of being burdened by the load we carry.
Sadly we’ve become overwhelmed, overburdened, and often oversensitive.
You know that moment when you can’t take one more thing or you might just ‘lose it’? Or when you bend down to pick up the last item on your list and everything comes falling and flying right out of your arms? If that’s you, I can relate. Oh. my. this. is. my. life. lately.
I’m over-committed, overstimulated, and over-saturated; frankly…I’m OVER IT! My heart longs to move from being overwhelmed. My goal is to living in the overflow where the Spirit takes over and lightens my load.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Learning how to lighten our load and traveling light requires practice.
But, I think I’ve finally found a way to get rid of the extra baggage and become hands-free!
And, that’s where the secret lies…empty hands.
Recently, a good friend shared something so profound with me. Honestly, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. We were talking about coming before God and feeling like we had nothing to offer Him. Remarkably, it’s in those very times, He does something mighty with what we do bring, even if it’s nothing at all.
Truth is, empty-handed is exactly where God wants us.
He loves to see us coming empty-handed, hands held high in praise before Him. If we can lay it all down, we can come before Him unencumbered by our overwhelming loads. This is where living in the overflow really begins.
Unfortunately, in our feeble attempts to come ready or acceptable, we often pick up unnecessary items along the way. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I think of all the extra baggage I collected while trying to be enough. How about you?
Many of us lug around our luggage for so long we forget what’s in it or why we needed it in the first place. The excess baggage we gather may have been useful at some point. But, we hoard the majority for a rainy day that never comes. Or, we mistakenly pick up those extra bags thinking they’re ours. Sometimes, the bags heave with really good things. Yet, most weren’t meant for us to carry at all. It’s as if we might need them in case of an emergency.
But, really, in a true emergency, God’s Word tells us the Holy Spirit provides everything we need at the moment.
Whether it’s courage, a multiplication of what we have to offer (think loaves and fish), or even a timely word. It’s not often I’m without words, but it does happen. So, I’m especially fond of how The Message says God gives us the words we need. And, in Philippians, Paul reminds us we are children of the King who has everything we need.
The right words will be there. The Holy Spirit will give you the right words when the time comes. Luke 12:12 (MSG)
Know this: my God will also fill every need you have according to His glorious riches in Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King. Philippians 4:19 (VOICE)
Overflow overcomes overwhelm…
Living in the overflow of the Holy Spirit overcomes the overwhelm in our lives. Yes, I’ve been wrestling with overwhelm for a while now. I’m learning to oust the overwhelm and overcome through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. It looks a little like this:
Oh, how I love the Holy Spirit Exchange Policy. Truthfully, when I feel anything that’s not of God, I know it wasn’t intended for me. I don’t have to keep it. Fortunately, I can return it, leave it at his feet, and choose from the overflow instead.
Owning the Overflow.
Ousting the overwhelm.
Victorious Living summed up in just 5 O’s! (Oh, the lessons I’m learning at 50!)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
Yet, I still hear you asking the all-important question.
Can we really learn the secret to traveling light and dump our overwhelming loads?
Yes, we can lighten our loads and become hands-free travelers on our journey. Listen to what the late Billy Graham had to say:
“My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.”
Reminders for Traveling Light in this Life
Be ready. Walk in your authority and remember your purpose and commission.
Don’t try to hide it. Jesus already knows our fears.
Only take what you need.
“Travel light. Comb and toothbrush and no extra luggage…” Luke 10:4 (MSG)
Actually, Jesus says we are ‘useless to the Kingdom’ realm of God if we keep looking back at our past, having second thoughts about following Him. (Luke 9:62) That stings. Afterwards, Jesus sends out the 70 in groups of two. He commissions them, sending them off with these instructions:
“The harvest is huge and ripe. But there are not enough harvesters to bring it all in. As you go, plead with the Owner of the Harvest to drive out into his harvest field many more workers. Now off you go! I am sending you out even though you feel as vulnerable as lambs going into a pack of wolves. You won’t need to take anything with you~trust in God alone. And don’t get distracted from my purpose by anyone you meet along the way.” Luke 10:2-4 (TPT)
Tips from Jesus for Traveling Light in This Life
In Luke 10:5-12, Jesus gives a few traveling tips and the reasons behind them:
Ask for what you need– shows us the importance of community; we can’t do it alone
Depend on Me– in doing so, we remain humble and dependent on God
Shake off the dust where you’re unwelcome– keeps us focused and encouraged
Surprisingly, after His death, Jesus came back just like He said He would in Matthew 28:6. And, according to John 14:3, He’s coming back again. In the meantime, He gives us something very important to carry into this broken and dying world.
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then, instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (MSG)
Like the disciples, we get to travel around the world bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
To bring means to carry. Unfortunately, if our hands are always full, we miss our chance.
In the past, we’ve talked about the condition of our hearts in What To Do When You’re a Little Confused. Our hearts are like a suitcase; they’re a treasure trove.
Undoubtedly, the heart has precious, little space; there isn’t room for dreams, not our own or burdens we’re not meant to carry. Approval lies in what Jesus did on the cross. It won’t be found in what we bring or what we can do.
So, girl, it’s time to lay some of that stuff down!
How do we carry the Good News While Traveling Light?
Honestly, the best way to carry the Good News is with empty hands. Our job is simply to drop the baggage and come empty-handed before the Lord. We lift our hands and offer up our sacrifice of praise.
“It’s hard to lift our hands when they are heavy,” said my friend. And, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. She’s right, we need to become hands-free before God sends us out on our journey to carry the Good News. You see, emptying our hands of unnecessary baggage is the secret to traveling light and learning to live in the overflow.
Let my prayer be as the evening sacrifice that burns like fragrant incense, rising as my offering to You as I lift up my hand in surrendered worship. Psalm 141:2 (TPT)
How wonderful it is to see a messenger coming across the mountains, bringing good news, the news of peace! He announces victory and says to Zion, “Your God is king!” Isaiah 52:7 (GNT)
Father God, help us remember the secret of traveling light. Teach us to come before You empty-handed, lifting our hands in sacrifice and praise. God, our King, we want the world to know You. Please, help us drop the excess baggage so we can carry the Good News into this world. Walk with us as we travel here. One day, we long to hear You welcoming us home with these words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on amyelaine.com.
Featured Image by Nathan McBride