I just back home from a long weekend of youth camp and I am exhausted. I love traveling and serving with old and new friends, but I feel like I need at least three weeks of paid vacation.
Let's just face it; the struggle is real. When it comes to ministry, more than we'd like to admit it, we all reach a point where "we just don't feel like" serving God or others anymore. I'm talking about when lethargy and sleepiness have become your new unwelcomed best friends and when daily life seems to never slow down.
It's the season when trial, heartbreak, and spiritual heaviness have become commonplace and there seems to be no end to the "valley of the shadow of death."
We've all been here before (and if you haven't, prepare yourself), but what do we do when all of this sets in? The answer for you and me today is: JESUS.
When Jesus says, "Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest", it isn't a simple suggestion, but a command to each and every one of us. Don't attempt to come to God, just, COME TO GOD! You and I need to clear our schedules, and rest as we allow God to fill our hearts again with His love and promises.
When we come to Jesus in patient prayer, our strength, stamina, vision, and purpose is revitalised with supernatural grace to keep on keeping on. And when we boldly come to His throne of grace, we receive the grace and mercy in our time of need (Hebrews chapter 4, verses 14-16). You and I both know these truths, but it's another thing for us to do it. Don't fall into the Pharisaical trap of teaching one thing, and not following through yourself.
Oh, how desperately we need to daily/hourly acknowledge our limited strength and exchange it for His infinite might as we wait on Him. (Isaiah chapter 40, verses 28-31). Then, and only then, are we able to press on when "we don't feel like it."
If you're a pastor/leader/mentor or all of the above, remember that it's vitally important for you to establish and reestablish yourself in the Lord. Don't continue to operate in "survival mode" when God has called us to live an abundant life in Him.
Take some time today and sit patiently before the Lord. He will meet you in your weakness and give you His strength! It's key to remember that even Jesus had alone time with God. If He found it necessary to take some time to rest with the Father, how much more should we as finite human beings?
One life to live
In my weakness, I am reminding myself of Jesus's promise to come back quickly for His Church. (see Revelation chapter 22, verse 20). This prompts me to urgently come to Jesus for rest that I need so that I can be sent again to be used for the sake of the gospel.
C.T. Studd, a well-known missionary in the 1800s, wrote:
"Only one life,
'twill soon be past.
Only what's done for Christ, shall last."
The honest truth is that we are given one life to glorify God. We cannot waste time by operating beneath our privileges as children of God. God knows our weaknesses and desires to exchange it for His supernatural strength.
Do yourself, and those of whom you are serving a favor by waiting patiently upon the Lord. King David in Psalm 27, verse 4, advises: "Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!"
When you hit the wall of "I don't feel like it", press on by faith. God is glorified in your willingness to come to Him.
Aaron serves in Murrieta, CA and is a pastor at Cross Culture Ministries and is also the director of On The Edge.
Aaron Sabio's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/aaron-sabio.html