As I sat down across from Stan, he said, “You look like a mess. You okay?”
“I’m feeling really exhausted,” I replied. “I’ve been putting in very long hours at work trying to get a project finished.”
“Just about done?” he asked.
“I am,” I replied. “Then I’m going to take a few days off and get some rest.”
“Good,” Stan said. “You have to take care of yourself. Physical and mental work will inevitably lead to exhaustion without adequate rest. But did you know that the same is not true with spiritual work for God?”
“How can you say that?” I asked. “Isn’t it the same thing? It’s all effort that takes strength.”
“Depends on whose strength is involved,” Stan responded. “If I’m trying to do anything in my own strength and don’t get adequate rest, I’m going to get exhausted because I only have so much strength to exert.”
“Burned out,” I commented.
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “But if I’m relying on God’s strength, rather than on my own, for what’s to be done, my experience has been that the harder I work the more of His energy and strength I am given.”
“So,” I said, “spiritual exhaustion is not possible if I am relying on the right source of strength. Is that what you’re saying?”
“That’s what it seems to me,” Stan replied. “If I get worn out doing work for God, I had better look to see who is trying to accomplish what. Is it me, rather than God?”
Bible verses to consider:
Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light. Matthew 11:38-30.
If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38.
But he (Samson) did not know that the Lord had departed from Him. Judges 16:20.
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the strength you have available to renew me for all you have for me to be and to do for you. I confess that too often I rely on my own strength (not yours) in seeking to to do what you have for me to do. The inevitable result is exhaustion that is not from you. Please forgive the foolishness of that approach to being and doing what you have for me. And please help me follow every step of your lead in relying only on your strength and what you have for me, rather than on anyone or anything else. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you “come unto” Jesus in the sense of accepting His finished work on the cross so you have the assurance of salvation and redemption? If no, why? If you are a Christian and seek to do work for God, do you always seek His strength, rather than relying on your own? Do you believe that God will supply all of the strength you need to accomplish what He has for you to accomplish, and that if you feel exhausted from doing work for God you are not relying on His strength? Why or why not? Are any changes needed in who and what you rely on? If so, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?