Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. (Isaiah 1:14)
When was the last time you thought of God as carrying around some sort of burden? If you are like most believers, the answer probably is “Never!” Yet the prophet Isaiah tells us that the all-powerful God of the universe does indeed become burdened, and the reason can be found in a single word: HYPOCRISY.
Omnipotence wearies when we worship Him with our lips while our hearts are wandering away from Him. To weary God—to burden our Beloved—is a serious matter that must be dealt with. Like any enemy that comes between us and God, we must take sword to it and cut it out at its root. None of us wants to be called “hypocrite,” but we are all affected by the sin of hypocrisy.
If we are honest, we must admit that there are times when our practice does not match our profession. We say one thing and do another. But those failures are not the “burden” I believe that God is carrying. Our Father knows that we are still sinners in need of a Savior even after we have been saved, and we need our Savior moment by moment. God knows the old sin nature is in a constant struggle with the new saved nature, as Romans 7 clearly reveals. This is the Christian life, and we must fight this battle all the way into glory. We will enjoy victories and defeats along the way.
God is burdened by a believer whose heart has grown cold—treating God almost as if He is as an unnecessary appendage, to be cut off by a cool and casual commitment. I cannot find a greater statement of the evil of a divided heart than to read that Omnipotence grew weary and was burdened by it. This alone should cause you and me to examine our hearts to see what they are actually beating for. Many have hearts that beat for the good gifts God has given, but not for God Himself. Sadly, their relationship with Jesus has been reduced to a religion marked by empty ritual: “New Moon feasts and appointed festivals.”
So how do we ease God’s burden? We journey back to the day of our salvation, the day when our hearts burned deep within us for Jesus Christ—not the things He could give us. We remember that God will tolerate no rival, and we return to our First Love . . . on our knees. David’s prayer provides a wonderful model for you and me:
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. . . .
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (Psalm 51:10, 12)
We cry out to Jesus, knowing that He is faithful to forgive and to heal. And we keep in view all the great saints of Scripture, who also found their hearts beating for something smaller than God at times.
Abraham refused to believe in the promise of God and tried to pass off his wife as his sister to save his own skin. Instead of going off to war, as was the duty of the king, David took another man’s wife and then had the man killed in battle. Peter’s divided heart reared its ugly head when he denied Jesus three times on the night He was betrayed. All these heroes of the Bible wearied God and became a burden to Him. Yet God restored them to fellowship, renewed their commitment, and brought them through with a deeper love for Him than they had before. God transformed His burden into His blessing!
God never changes; what He did for the saints of old, He will do for you today.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!