I had an important realization.
I am not responsible for saving the world.
Um, yeah, of course not…that’s Jesus’ job…why did you think that?
I guess I got carried away. Or I got worried.
Crazy things have been happening in the news that make me think the world–that desperately needs Jesus–is rejecting him when they really need him. And it bums me out. It makes me long for them to see the freedom Christ has to offer. Sometimes I think if only the world could see we have perfect freedom in Christ, then maybe, just maybe things would be better…but this burden is not mine to carry.
Have you been carrying a burden that isn’t yours? Let’s explore this idea…
To begin with, let’s dwell on an important scripture:
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah (Psalm 46:10-11 ESV)
A few weekends ago another pastor’s wife invited me to a short retreat where we spent time on this scripture. The part that stuck out to me the most was God saying, “I will be exalted among the nations.”
He didn’t say, “If you do a good job planting a church or if you write something worth reading I will be exalted.” He said, “I will be exalted among the nations.” This is a statement God makes that cannot be altered. God does not need me to make him great among the nations–or my neighborhood and community–but he promises he will be exalted. This isn’t something that I need to make happen.
What a glorious thing to stop trying so hard to make Jesus glorified on earth! He will make it happen. I am free to continue living my life without worrying that the world doesn’t seem to care about my savior. I still tell people about Jesus. I still write for him. But it is not my burden to carry. He will be exalted when and where he chooses. Yay!
Maybe you have felt this burden…
- When someone doesn’t respond well to the truth you share with them.
- When you see disasters on the news.
- When there seems to be so much need and sadness around you.
- When you are tired and feel like you can’t keep doing ministry at the pace you have been keeping.
If you recognize that you have been carrying a burden that Jesus is meant to carry, you can do something about it. Put it down. Go to Jesus and hand it over. Rest. Meditate on scripture to free yourself.
Here are several verses that might help you understand the burden is not yours to carry…
- “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah (Psalm 46:10-11 ESV)
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22 ESV)
- “I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket. (Psalm 81:6 ESV)
- Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (1 Peter 2:16 ESV)
- For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)
We are free from the burdens of this world!
Yes, we still serve.
Yes, we still pray for other people.
Yes, we use our talents for Jesus.
But we can do this with joy and a light spirit knowing God will do the hard work.
He can break the crusty layers of anger from an old heart. He can melt the rebellious spirit with one whisper. He can change hearts and lives and move mountains–and we cannot.
This work is not to be a yoke around your neck. You are not a slave. You are FREE!
Praise be to Jesus!
Thank you that you will be glorified among the nations and on the earth! We do not have to make this happen! It is happening, and it will happen in your perfect timing. Please be with us as we minister to your people. Do the miraculous work of changing hearts and lives. Allow us to be used by you. We are so grateful for you and all that you will do through us!