A few years back, I bought a movie about the life of Esther. In the movie, there’s a scene where the beautiful Esther weds the powerful King Xerxes of Susa. Esther walks down the aisle of a grand banquet hall and ascends ornate steps to stand before her soon-to-be husband. Having a desire for greater intimacy with the Lord, I watched that scene over and over, teary-eyed, as I envisioned myself walking down that aisle and up those steps toward my King.
One day as I played that scene over yet again in my mind, I got to the part where I ascended the steps in my beautiful dress. I looked up and, in the spirit, I saw Jesus there before me. I immediately noticed something I hadn’t before: my elegant ascent up those grand banquet steps was being hampered by a heavy, awkward suitcase—contents unknown—that I was trying to drag up with me.
I looked down at the suitcase and back up at Jesus, and He spoke these words to me: “It’s time to grow up.”
Suddenly, I knew what was in that suitcase. It contained the baggage of my past—all the pain and rejection, all the hurtful words that had been said, all the wounds I’d been nursing.
In Andrew’s new teaching, Discipleship: The Path to Freedom, he talks about the fact that we attach too much value to people and to the words that are spoken over us. The value we place on them determines how much power and influence they exert over us.
Andrew says, “You’re the one who places value on everything that comes against you. You may not think about this, but every time somebody says something, you place a value on this. [You] value their opinion, or you devalue their opinion. And if somebody has criticized you, and it’s just cut you to the core, it’s because of the value that you placed on them” (brackets added).
Valuing others’ opinions over God’s had caused me years of pain and heartache. It had also come at the expense of my spiritual growth.
Years before, I’d perceived that my immaturity and failure to be governed by the Spirit were keeping me from God’s best. I was desperate to grow up, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what was holding me back. I had no idea that it was a wrong focus. I was valuing the opinions of man rather than God and His opinion.
As I stood there with my suitcase, I knew the Lord was giving me a choice: Would I value my destiny in Him or the words of rejection and pain of my past? Whatever I chose, I knew I would have to forfeit one for the other.
So, I made my choice. And I chose Jesus. Instantly the suitcase full of rejection and pain melted away. Those things just weren’t important anymore compared to the infinite value of the King who stood before me.
Has the Lord set you free in an area of your life? Share with us below. We would love to hear from you! And to find out more about the path to freedom and maturity, watch Andrew’s new teaching, Discipleship: The Path to Freedom, on the Gospel Truth the rest of this week. You can also check out the television archives to view any missed episodes.