One way that God gives me a sense of direction, either for prayer or action, is by the use of burdens. If something lays heavy on my heart, I need to pray. If action is required, God will make His will known.
There is a difference between a burden and worry, or a burden because of sin. Both worry and sin are indications that I am not trusting God. If that is true, then I need to confess my lack of faith before doing anyting else. Sometimes I say, “God, if this is from You, then I accept it. If not, then show me what this is all about, or change it.”
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)
Normally this verse is interpreted that I take my concerns to God so He will fix them, but I’ve learned God desires a deeper purpose and motivation. He wants me to toss burdens or concerns on His shoulders so He can show me what He doing. Then I can pray according to His will instead of my ‘I wants.’ He promises to sustain me by supplying all needs and supporting me through carrying that burden and any action He asks me to take. He will not permit me to fall as long as I am obedient to His will.
Chambers says some burdens are wrong because they are not from God. He also says there are burdens that God puts on me that He wants me to roll back on Him. God isn’t giving me responsibility concerning the burden, but teaching me to trust Him with it as I pray, even as I do something related to the burden.
This morning’s television news contained a segment about a group taking action against a particular injustice in our country. I felt burdened by their plea for help. The group needs money, but also volunteers. Is this burden from God? I don’t know yet, but I do know to pray about it and wait on the Lord. If He wants me to jump in, He will make that clear. I also know that I must not jump in without His leading. I’ve been there and done that, and all it does is create a greater burden, one that He never intended that I carry.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)
Jesus used two words for burden in this verse. ‘Heavy laden’ refers to a cargo shipment, a large load that might be put in a container on a ship. The other ‘burden’ is a word meaning the invoice! This is the easy load that He gives His people. Not only is it light, but He helps us carry it.
He also promises rest. Yet I’ve learned that a rested soul is not equal to a rested body. Some of the burdens He puts on me require labor in prayer and labor in giving His task the attention He wants. I get tired, but if the thing is from God, I am not overly wrought, upset, worried, or doubtful. It is just an invoice.
Truly Jesus sustains, as long as I take time to find out what I am supposed to do with my burdens!