The Invisible Backpack

I once had an invisible backpack that weighed me down. I had that thing full of my confessed and forgiven sins, but still felt the need to lug it around with me. Some of my sins I couldn’t let go. Until, I realized I was taking up some much needed space that Jesus could be filling.

In true Christianity, asking for salvation is simple. Confess aloud with your mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, and you believe that God has raised Him from the dead, and you, my friend, will be saved. This asking starts and cultivates the relationship with the all-knowing, all-wonderful God through Jesus. The Bible says in Romans 10:9, 10, if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus was raised from the dead by God, you will be saved. It is the believing and confession that you are made right with God. The following is an example of a simple prayer. This prayer can be read aloud now for someone who is searching for God or read aloud for someone to renew their faith in Jesus.

Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner, and for that I’m sorry. I need You as my Lord and Savior; I know I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus, Your Son, died on the cross to forgive my sins so that I may have eternal life. I believe on the third day He rose from the grave and conquered death and sin’s hold on me. I turn from doing things my way where I am controlled by my sinful nature. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to forgive me. Make me new. Come into my life and into my heart; lead me in everything I do. I trust You. I love You. I choose to live for You each and every day. Thank You for Your love. And thank You, Jesus, for saving me. Amen.

What a beautiful prayer to pray to God for salvation! I have heard versions of that prayer every Sunday used by pastors all over the world, gently providing God’s salvation invitation. There are no good works to do, and there is nothing to earn. Salvation consists of just a simple prayer, offering ourselves to the Creator of Heaven and Earth. This prayer starts the communication and relationship with Jesus, who openly hears our prayers and dances with glee at the thought of getting to know us, to growing in a personal relationship with us. That prayer begins the transformational growth between us and God. This transformative prayer is how someone becomes a child of God and is escorted into His kingdom of hope, love and transformation.

What a privilege it is to be called the children of God. Children, in the plural sense, meaning many. Knowing there are many more like me who seek the same as I do gives me peace and the feeling of belonging to something greater than I.

This privilege is ours for the asking. The belief and confession in prayer are needed to start the relationship to become God’s child. Not everyone is a child of God, but I believe everyone on Earth is God’s creation. The Bible says in John 1:12, “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become the children of God” (NLT). Those who believe in Jesus Christ are God’s children. All others are God’s creations but separated from Him due to their unconfessed sin. This further means those who believe in Jesus Christ are new beings, born-again in the flesh, and those who may be called the children of God.

As a reborn child of God, we have to make a way and make room for God in our newly found lives. In Luke 3:4, John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus to come. Prepared the way means “to get rid of our emotional baggage” so the Lord has a place to dwell. When we confess our sins and doubts to Him, we become free from them. Space is made for Him.

For example, imagine that when you were born you were given an invisible backpack. Through the years, you collected your favorite memories and experiences and placed them in that backpack. Sadly, along the way, you have also collected your failed dreams, hurts and pains, shortcomings, what you have done wrong to others, and what’s been done to you—your most sinful experiences—and placed them in the invisible backpack as well. Over time, you don’t mind carrying your favorite things and realize they don’t have weight attached to them, but the life’s failures and sin baggage is heavy. Lugging it around is hard to do. Being joyful is hard.

You certainly can’t skip with all that weight. Psalm 38 describes the kind of sin that we carry around with us and how it actually affects our health, invading our entire body and taking over our mind and making us ill. That’s why we give our sin to Jesus. The great “I Am” has told us in the Holy Bible that He has come to give us a full life. That’s a life full of unconditional love— not a life full of regrets and shame.

With the confession of my sins, I mentally dropped off my invisible backpack at the cross; I was lighter. I was filled with joy with my new realization that my sins and past were cleared away and made clean by Jesus. Over time, I felt as if I had picked up another invisible backpack; they’re not invisible to everybody, God could see it. He saw as I slowly put my past sins back in the bag. The ones that I already confessed to Him and He forgave me for, I was still carrying around. I felt the need to repent them once more to him. Not for Him, for me. Some of my sins I hadn’t let go.

Until I realized…that when I keep carrying my confessed and forgiven sins with me, it takes up space. Precious space that Jesus could be filling.

God’s salvation invitation is available for everybody—no matter where they are in their life, physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally. It doesn’t matter if your spouse won’t believe what you now do. You can still ask God on your own for salvation, and no one will know until you’re ready to tell them. That’s between you and God. When you accept the invitation, drop off your sin baggage, and start working for Jesus, the universe changes. Lives change, and generations change with every yes for Him. Be the change in the universe for the glory of God. Make the space for Him, take the time to read His Word, and pray to God to cultivate the relationship of a lifetime…and beyond.

The Invisible Backpack taken from "Chapter 13, The Invitation" found in Jesus Freak: Becoming One in the Utah Desert

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Recovering Sinner, Adopted by Christ, Saved by Grace

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