Isaiah 46:1-5 NKJV -  Bel bows down, Nebo stoops; Their idols were on the beasts and on the cattle. Your carriages [were] heavily loaded, A burden to the weary [beast].  They stoop, they bow down together; They could not deliver the burden, But have themselves gone into captivity.  "Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, Who have been upheld [by Me] from birth, Who have been carried from the womb:  Even to [your] old age, I [am] He, And [even] to gray hairs I will carry [you]! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver [you].  "To whom will you liken Me, and make [Me] equal And compare Me, that we should be alike?
For the other nations (whom we equate with the secular world of today), their gods and idols became a burden that lowered them down. Not only could their idols not deliver them, but they were both taken captive together. For us today, trying to keep up with the world's idols, trends, fads, and ideals is a heavy burden. It will weigh you down, exhaust you, and ultimately take you captive. You will become consumed with staying relevant and being "in". The trap is that things change so quickly in the world. Just when you figure out how to dress, what songs are popular, and what is right and wrong they all change without notice and you are left alone and confused wondering what happened. What a heavy burden it can be to keep in step with the world.
Christians should not be loaded down with that burden. We are called to be set apart from this world, to be distinctly different. Nicky Gumbel writes: "Like many today, the people of God often found themselves in a culture with very different standards from their own. You are not called to withdraw from the culture, but you are called to be distinctive. Live a counter-culture life and you will have a powerful impact on the culture for good." Paul wrote to the church in Rome:
Romans 12:1-2 NKJV -  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
To the church in Corinth he wrote:
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 NKJV -  Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."  "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."
We know that there is a better way to live. Instead of pursuing conformity to things that are ever-changing and unfulfilling, we pursue conformity to the Word of God that never changes. His Word is the bread of life that always fulfills. He will receive us and be pleased with us when we separate ourselves from the world's lifestyle and pursue a holy lifestyle. As believers, we put our trust in Him and set our sights on pleasing Him. In doing this, we unload the heavy burden of being a people pleaser and place ourselves in the arms of a just and loving Savior who will carry us through the ups and downs of life. I love verses 3 and 4 from Isaiah 46. He carries us, He delivers us! No heavy burden, no bondage!
It seems that no matter what we do to fit in with the world rejection awaits us. Yet when we focus our energy and time on serving, pleasing, and knowing Jesus we find acceptance and rest for our weary souls. What are you chasing? Are you chasing the ever-changing idols that the world worships or are you chasing a closer relationship with the God who never changes?
Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV -  "Come to Me, all [you] who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  "For My yoke [is] easy and My burden is light."
If you are under a heavy burden and looking for rest, then look to Jesus. This world and its unstable ways will only disappoint and exhaust you. Jesus, on the other hand, will strengthen, empower, and fill you with joy. Come to the rest that He provides. Let Him carry you.
Patrick A. Thomson