The Bare Soul - July 24, 2011
Cast Your Burden

Psalm 55:22 - Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

Any of us who have witnessed track and field events have probably witnessed the shot put throw. I remember throwing or "putting" a diminished version of the standard 16 pound put used in men's competition. In junior high, it was probably an eight to ten pound shot put, and by high school we used a 12 pounder. I was never really good at it, but I always marveled when someone could put some distance on their put. Today, the world record is held by a fellow that shot put over 75 feet. That is remarkable when you think about heaving a 16 pound ball of metal over 25 yards -- a quarter of an American football field in length! While this is an outstanding effort, it once again is a testament regarding human limitations. We just don't have omnipotent power to achieve superhuman feats of strength. (This is probably why superheroes are larger than life and emulated by so many!) Our limitations remind us time and again that we are mere mortals and subject to the frailty of human flesh. For those of us who know the Lord, our weakness only reminds us of the One who lives within our earthly bodies. We are reminded that truly, greater is He who is within us, then any other we might encounter, either real or imagined. (I John 4:4)

The implication of our lead verse gives us a word picture that we might liken to one who would attempt the shot put. By the time many of us are willing to acknowledge our burden of sin, the revelation of its enormity and ungainliness might leave us in despair to know how to deal with it. Fortunately, Christ Jesus our Savior knows that we cannot begin to handle the load of sin that we all must carry outside of His saving grace. When we trust in Him, He removes the weight of sin if we will only cast our burden His way. It matters not how strong we are in this effort. In spiritual reality, it is better that we are crippled with weakness. If we will but move toward the Lord to throw our sin upon Him, He will meet us with all the strength of the God-head to accomplish salvation on our behalf. But what about after salvation? Once we have walked with the Lord for a while, we might find that those familiar pains of carrying around an unneeded weight have returned. Some might easily equate their newly-acquired burden as sin needing confession and repentance. That may be the case if the Lord reveals this to a man or a woman's heart. In this case, we should humbly ask our Savior to cleanse us by His blood, knowing that He will graciously grant us forgiveness (I John 1:9) However, there is also the very real possibility that Satan, through our flesh (sin nature), has heaped upon us guilt for previously forgiven transgressions. In this case, we must stand on the word of God, knowing that Christ has removed our sin as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) If we have truly cast our burden of sin, the Lord has flung our sin into the sea of forgetfulness, never to resurface in His mind or heart again. (Micah 7:19)

As redeemed, born-again believers, we are not allowed to carry a burden of sin. The only "burdens" we are to carry are the ones the Lord gives us in prayer for others. (Galatians 6:1-2) To hear a Christ-follower (a saint, if you will), speak about the heavy burdens they are carrying belies the true meaning of our burden of sin before we knew Christ. So-called burdens are often dressed-up disguises of unbelief and sin. We might say that we believe God will supply all our needs according to Christ's riches as stated in Philippians 4:13. But then we might tell others about our mountain of bills, or our broken down car, or our failing health in a spirit of "burdened" unbelief. Instead, we should first be telling God our problems, ending with a post-script in our prayers that we know He can meet all our needs. Then, if he gives us permission, we can take these faith-filled requests to others, allowing them to join with us in prayer to see these needs come to fruition. When we merely moan and groan about our supposed "burdens", we call God a liar -- declaring that He is not able to meet our needs as He has stated. However, if we will continue to cast our cares (not our burden, for Christ dealt with that when we trusted in Him), then we will see the heavens opened and God meeting and exceeding our expectations.

To cast one's burden of sin upon the Lord is the defining moment of every new believer. We are not meant to bear its weight. Neither are we meant to be able to set some type of world's record in how far we can throw it from our own spiritual self. That is what the devil would desire for every man, woman, and child. If the enemy of our souls can keep lost souls trying to "shot put" their sins continually away from them, then he has won. Likewise, if he can keep believers like you and me to attempt to either carry our sins once again, or to cast our sins off our shoulders and out of our hearts by our own power, then he has made us ineffective as children of God. Our only hope is the Great Anchor of our Souls (Hebrews 6:19), for without Him both our sin and our sins will weigh us down to the depths of despair. May we first cast off our burden of sin to the One who will grant us freedom from its unbearable weight. Then, may we always cast all our concerns upon the Lord, for He desires to be our care-bearer in the same way. He alone is the One who is ultimately our strength, beloved.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the power of Your might that has resolved both sin and anxiety for all those who would but trust in You. Thank you for allowing us to cast our burden upon Your Son, as well as all our cares. Keep us in Your continual peace as we trust in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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