The last post we talked about the famous “my yoke is easy” and how burdens make us their servants. However, how do you get free of those burdens? How do you lighten your load? In our last post, we talked about what a yoke is, it’s a heavy influential burden. Many times we choose to be influenced by circumstance or others. It’s not a conscious decision but when you find yourself worrying about something, you’ve made the decision to worry. You’ve burdened yourself.
I wrestled with this verse for the last 20 years. God says I’m worthy, spotless and clean thanks to Jesus. However, I still want to prove my worth. Every day I wake up sometimes I choose to plow the mud. However, I’ve learned a few practical things I can do to choose the helium balloons.
In order to accept His burden, you have to unburden yourself. My Pastor gave me very practical advice on this one.
5 Practical Ways To Lighten Your Burden
- Take out your journal or a piece of paper.
- Write down all your burdens.
- Write down the individual details. Ex. Work – my concern that the client will be upset that his project is past due or Children – My concern that my son won’t make straight “A’s.”
- Then pray individually around each detail. “Father, today I’m concerned about dealing with this client. I give my concern to you.”
- Do this with each of your worries and concern.
This advice will definitely help you identify your daily worries and what’s wearing you down. However, if you aren’t really going deep with God and listening for His voice on this you might not get the freedom you want. When you do spend time with God He’ll often not just take your burden but reveal what’s the root cause. Often His action steps involve Repenting, Forgiving or Worshipping.
In order for me to feel the release of my initial burden, I had to repent from being so selfish. I had reacted to my workplace world as if it revolved around me. In my self-centered approach, I was getting upset every time someone interfered with my workflow and projects. In a secular setting, you could argue that I needed to say something because my boss was violating my boundaries or you could argue that is what bosses do, so “deal with it.”
In reality, I was letting one of my life verses Col. 3: 17, become twisted. As if I’m to earn the glory for the Lord. It’s His glory, not mine. It’s like when a parent gives their child money to buy a present. Both the parents know what happened, but the child gets to experience the event. I had to learn to just experience the events and be ready to be used but to not let my ego get caught up in being upset if I wasn’t the one in control.
You might think you don’t need to repent for anything, but if you read the post, “How To Hear God’s Voice,” then take this moment and listen to God. In my case, I also needed to repent for turning my dreams and expectations into idols. I routinely chose to spend time and money investing in business dreams versus spending time with God.
With repentance, I feel like the Holy Spirit continues to sensitize me. Every time bringing me back one step further. He helps me remove the big rocks first, then the medium sized ones and finally the grains of sands.
Here’s another area where Christians often get it twisted. If you consider yourself a “good” Christian, you might not think you need to forgive. However, in my experience as a ministry leader, husband, and parent there are no shortage of things to forgive on a daily basis.
Take an intentional inventory, get quiet for 5 minutes and ask God, “search my heart, Father. What areas do I need to repent and forgive in?” In the past, I had to forgive family members and “big hurts” in my life. Recently, God brought me back to high school and middle school years and reminded me that I never forgave people for wrongs they didn’t know I was taking an account in. It might sound silly, but I had to forgive a young friend that never “returned” my friendship. I’ve known this person since 1st Grade all the way through college and always tried to be their friend, and while we spoke, we were never really friends.
Forgiveness is such a foundational concept to a healthy emotional state that even Harvard Business Review did a study on it. I love the saying that not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation, it just means that you recognize that you were forgiven by your Father and that you forgive that person who wronged you.
Forgiveness is like repentance in that I feel like I’m always called to go a bit deeper. Forgiving obvious wrongs at first but then going to places that I wasn’t even really aware of unforgiveness in my heart. It’s as if like my phone I have a few apps running in the background and God says, let’s get rid of some of those background apps. Also like my phone, anytime we kill these process intense apps, we move faster and freer.
Repenting and Forgiving feels like emptying to me. It’s a true unburdening. That in and of itself will make you feel lighter. However, worship is like filling. When you focus on God and give Him what He wants, it has a way of making you feel fuller. When I say worship, I’m not talking about getting on your knees and bowing, although that could be what you do. God wants you to spend time with Him. Worship isn’t a type of slow song. It’s a focused, intentional time with God.
Accept The Adoption
During a worship time and after it’s like I’m filling balloons with helium. If I have forgiven, repented and worshipped, then practically I’ve done everything I can to unburden myself. Like the last post, I’ve made a decision to give my burdens to Jesus and take his light and free one. If you’re reading this and have done all these things and tried it all, then there might be one step missing. Spoiler Alert! It’s in the heading of this section. You must know WHOSE you are. God wanted to spend time with you so much that He made you. Yes, He made you with a mission in mind and a calling on your life, but the number one goal was to spend time with you and love you.
Adoption is an intentional decision to choose a child. We simply have to accept Jesus. That’s the gift of salvation, but more than just a Sunday prayer. It’s an acceptance into a family with the most loving Father we can possibly imagine. Think of every TV show with awesome loving Dads you’ve ever seen. God is infinitely more loving than that. Like the story of the Prodigal Son, the Father didn’t care where the son had been only that he wanted his son back.
Most of us have parental wounds of some kind. Many of these wounds were not intentionally inflicted. These wounds often shade the way we view God. Once you come to understand His love for us, He can heal your parental wounds if you let Him. Our God will only do what we ask and invite Him to do.
My prayer for you today is that not only will you lighten your burdens but that you’ll come to a full understanding that you and I are adopted by a loving Father that wants the absolute best for us.