From Beth Templeton:
It has happened to me quite a few times over the years. The first time was in high school, and then it happened again in college. I get these packages delivered to me out of the blue. They have my name on them, and my address. Even when I lived in Texas, then North Carolina, and here in Georgia, I hear a ring at the door and when I go to answer, this delivery guy is standing there with a package addressed to Beth Templeton. He says something like, "I have a package you need to sign for." The crazy thing is, it even happens sometimes when I am on vacation!
In the early years, I just did what you have probably done many times as well-- I signed for the package. It had my name on it, for heavens sake! Of course it is mine, right? And when these packages first started coming to my door it simply never occurred to me to do anything else but sign my name and take that package as my own.
I Did Not Order This!
Then I would, of course, open up this package addressed to me, but inside was something I definitely did not want. I surely did not order this! Inside my package, the one with my name on it, the one I signed for and accepted into my home, was something I had become quite familiar with-- Anxiety. Like I said, for years when the delivery guy arrived, most of the time completely randomly it seemed to me, I just figured this package of anxiety was mine.
I was anxious. I dealt with anxiety. Anxiety is a part of who I am.....
It seemed that signing for it made a sort of sense I suppose. Because I had bought into the lie that if it is delivered to my door and if it has my name on it-- for no doubt, there were always things to be anxious about!-- then I would have to accept it and deal with it as a part of my life.
I'll always remember when I heard this analogy, shared in a sermon at a revival meeting many years ago. It was then that I realized that, actually, I did not have to sign for this package of anxiety. As a matter of fact, I thought, "What in the world?! Just because it has my name on it does not mean it is mine. I am not signing for that!"
Standing at the Door
And ever since then, if you could hear the things I say to myself, you would hear, "I'm not signing for that," repeated many times over the years. Because what I have learned is that the enemy will take any opportunity to offer a package that has a certain perverse attraction for us. For you it may not be anxiety, but some other lie rooted in an experience or way of thinking from your past. Perhaps rejection, or out of control anger, or fear, or depression, or hopelessness....
But, my friends, there is great freedom and power in realizing that we get to choose whether or not we receive these packages. You and I have authority in Jesus to stand at the door of our homes and authorize entry to those things that are True and Good from the Father's hand. And we have authority likewise to de-authorize those packages that contain lies and deceptions from the enemy.
I Am Not Signing For That!
Certainly, as adoptive and foster parents, there is much we could be anxious about for our children. And if you are like me, you will find that the delivery guy will still try to trick you into signing for that old package you used to receive at will. My guy seems to like to drop by and try his old tricks at different times just to see if I might sign this time. He's pretty persistent. Sometimes he won't show up for years, and then sure enough, the door bell rings and I find myself getting ready to sign for that package with my name on it. Adoptive parenting has certainly provided some prime delivery opportunities for sure! But no, I know better than that these days. That package is not coming into this house, this heart!
So, I want to encourage us all today to take a second look at those home deliveries. Is this package really yours? Does the return address say,
from: Father God, Heaven
If not, I invite you to say as I do, in a loud voice, with the authority that is ours in Christ, "I AM NOT SIGNING FOR THAT!"