Thursday, June 28, 2007
Since it's pretty rare to see an eagle in our area, I've had to settle for another bird that at least soars like an eagle. They're the turkey vultures that I see circling overhead so often. I actually love to watch their gracious flight. I hate to think about their repulsive diet, though. As you know, those vultures like to chow down on dead animals. Wherever you see vultures, you can pretty well assume there's a carcass somewhere nearby.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Getting Rid of Your Vultures."
Too many of us have vultures circling us. Not the airborne variety, but the emotional and spiritual vultures that keep preying on us: those old fears that keep coming back, the memories of the pain of your past, old bitternesses, old sins, or old hurts. Maybe some of the vultures of your life have continually cast a shadow over you; they've made you depressed, disabled, discouraged.
Thanks to my friend Erwin Lutzer, I've been thinking about a way to get rid of those vultures. Dr. Lutzer's suggestion goes something like this: the vultures go elsewhere when the carcasses are removed! Good! If you take the steps to remove some of the dead stuff that the vultures love to feed on, maybe you can finally get free of them. If you can deal with the root of some of those old fears and failures and hurts, they don't have to paralyze you; they don't have to eat you anymore.
That's some of what God has in mind in our word for today from the Word of God in Hebrews 12:1. He tells us to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." In order to run without continually tripping up, we've got to get rid of the things we continually trip over! Or, remove the carcasses that the vultures of Satan continually latch onto.
Those carcasses usually trace back to some painful things that have happened to us in our past: a family breakup, abuse, a home that really wasn't a home, a family that wasn't a family, abandonment, or some personal failure. That's the carcass. Now, obviously, you can't just pretend it never happened. But there are steps you can take - courageous steps - that will help "throw off" this thing that has hindered and entangled you for so long. You have to be sick and tired of the vultures winning. You have to really want to be free, and then you'll finally tackle the unpleasant but liberating job of removing that carcass.
How do you do it? You stop running from that pain in your past; you turn and face it. You recruit some people to be your daily prayer partners to help you beat this. You determine to throw everything at this old carcass - to do whatever it takes to remove it. You bite the bullet, you take the risk, and you seek godly counsel with someone who can walk through all that pain with you and lead you through some healing steps. You ask God for the strength to forgive the person who hurt you as Jesus forgave the people who crucified Him. You forgive, not to get them off the hook, but to get you off the hook that keeps you tied to that person that you don't forgive.
Is it hard to do what it takes to remove that carcass from your past? Oh, yes it is. But you can in the Bible's words, "do all things through Christ who gives you strength" ( Philippians 4:13). Yes, you can.
Jesus said of His personal mission, "The Lord has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted." And it may be that some of the broken pieces inside of you that have haunted you for so long are waiting the touch of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the thing that is at the source of all the pain and hurt in the world - human sin - yours and others. And today He's waiting to remove and forgive yours and begin a healing deep inside your heart. He'll live in your heart; He'll come into your heart at your invitation.
Our website actually is designed to help you make that very commitment and cross into His waiting arms. It's yoursforlife.net. I hope this will be the day that the One who came to heal the broken hearted will be welcomed into your heart.