God’s purpose in cast our burden is so that we come to the place in Christ where we cannot be moved. To cast is an all-encompassing giving over to God, a relinquishing of our control. He sustains us and establishes us in Christ when we give our burdens over freely and joyfully.
Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)
When I read this verse it brings to mind the story of when Jesus commands Peter to cast out the nets despite their having fished all nights with no success. Despite his natural protests he obeys, and the result was having to call a second boat to help them bring in the catch. Today’s verse is thus beautifully and visibly illustrated in the life of Christ on earth. In these, we see the reciprocal relationship God has with His people. We see Him respond to the needs of His children in real and tangible ways. His desire to participate in our lives manifests in ordinary day-to-day details. His interaction with us is His supernatural power and nature revealed in practical and even miraculous ways. When He tells us to cast our burden, though, it’s a common principle that in many ways defines our walk with Him.
Cast our burden and not be moved.
It’s worth looking at the end result first because this is the purpose of cast our burden. Our God desires that we find a place in Him where we cannot be moved – the place of spiritual security and absolute faith in Him. The physical meaning of cannot be moved is of something fixed and immovable. It is where it is and that’s the end of it. The focus here is on ‘cannot’ rather than will not. This leads us into the spiritual relevance and clearly points out that it has nothing to do with us. Will not implies choice and the exercise of our will. Cannot takes it out of our hands and makes it a purpose of God. Like the Rock of Gibraltar, we cannot be moved. We are where God has placed us and beyond the ability of any outside influence to move us.
The spiritual implications are all-encompassing. When we cast our burden, God promises that He will sustain us so that we cannot be moved. Our faith will be unshakeable, not because it’s ours but because He sustains it. Our place in Christ is eternal because we are in Him rather than living out of self. Likewise, our righteousness is His righteousness, completely ours as long as we remain in Him. From this relationship comes strength, patience, endurance, faith, wisdom, knowledge of the Word… All the things necessary to sustain us so we cannot be moved come from our position and privilege in Jesus. So often we get side-tracked with the truth that ‘all our righteousness is as filthy rags.’ Today’s verse calls us righteous, which isn’t contradictory. A righteous man is one who lives in the righteousness of Jesus. That’s the single unchangeable criteria that determines our righteousness.
What it means to cast our burden.
The little word ‘cast’ really stood out for me as I read this verse. It’s not a gentle surrender nor a passive obedience. The word actually means to throw forcefully, and a wonderful illustration is casting out the heavy fishing nets which required an all-or-nothing approach. Cast our burden isn’t a random thing. Like those fishermen, we have to be sure it’s effective. The nets had to spread properly and had to land the right distance from the boat to have any chance of success. To achieve this, the fishermen had to give the throw their all. They had to throw forcefully and with intent. It was a deliberate and all-engaging act with very specific results. From this, we can learn that we must cast our burden as a deliberate act of will rather than as a passive response. We must cast with both obedience and purpose.
The second truth is that we have to put our all behind it. We cannot simply ‘toss’ our burden negligently on the way past. Just as it takes skill for those fishermen to properly cast their nets, we need to also learn to cast our burden effectively. A lot of the time, we tend to hold onto it and pull it back when we should be letting go. That’s human nature, because self likes to be in control. It’s something we need to do with enthusiasm and passion and absolute all-in commitment. To cast isn’t a random fling in any general direction. It’s a deliberate, planned, and forceful throw that harnesses our energy, our obedience, our will, and our faith – cast our burden is complete and unrestrained participation in throwing all upon the Lord. It’s worth remembering that our ‘all’ includes self, which can be a heavy burden.
God’s response to cast our burden.
What’s interesting is that God doesn’t say He will enable us to do what is needed. Our verse points out very clearly that He will firstly sustain us and secondly make sure we cannot be moved. The message here is that we mustn’t expect to get the burden back. We no longer have to carry it. When we cast our burden on Him, all control is removed into His hands. In some ways, faith can be defined as relinquishing control, as letting go, which is the most difficult thing for any human being to do. But God doesn’t want us to retain even a smidgeon of control. That’s the message in cast, to throw forcefully and throw all. When we do, He responds to sustain us and ensure we cannot be moved. This is faith – to let go and stand in the assurance that He is willing and able.
There is a very big difference between separating ourselves from ‘real life’ and living life in Jesus. God does not remove us from the world but we continue to live in it with all its emotions, challenges, and demands. The difference is that we can cast our burden on Him. The supernatural life of Christ in us is what engages with the world instead of self. Our burden is now His burden. He does the work and carries the load, and sustains us through it all in absolute faith in Him. It doesn’t mean we’re not engaged or don’t feel things. We’re still inherently human. But we don’t have to take on the responsibility for things we are not equipped to handle. The outcome isn’t ours to achieve. Our role is to live in Christ in all things – to live with supernatural empowerment so we cannot be moved.
The practical truth of cast our burden.
Our walk with Jesus is one of gradual learning and even slower letting go. Human nature is such that we tend to hang onto things. Often, we hang on to the eleventh hour, fifty-ninth minute and then fling them at God in desperation when we’re all out of self. We can learn from those fishermen here. To cast our burden, though it’s done with absolute abandon and all-in commitment, is also done with calm precision. The time to cast is at the beginning, not as some last-ditch measure in panic and desperation. The boats are properly positioned and the nets cast out long before the evidence of fish. What this means is that to cast our burden is a way of life. We learn it slowly and develop the habit so we’re not caught unawares. Learning to cast little burdens enables us to cast the large.
If we make cast our burden a simple way of life, He will always respond to establish us and secure us in Christ. In Him, we cannot be moved, no matter what we encounter along the way.
Lord, we thank You for Your grace and care and for Your infinite patience as we slowly learn to cast our burden on You. Help us to develop the habit in day to day moments and not to wait until times of desperation. Keep us aware of who You are and of the desires of self to hold onto control in our lives. Above all, help us to live in Christ, willingly surrendered to Your purposes so that Your glory and power may be revealed as we live in total reliance on You.