And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
How many times have you heard yourself say or others say, “I need a vacation.” Or, “I am so burnt out.” We all need to have a Sabbath day of rest, after all it’s one of the Ten Commandments. I’m not even going to take a stance against rest, I think it’s an important element to recharge our batteries. What I am getting at here is the wearing down feeling we get when we are just sick of the routine. It may be a ministry you are involved in, it might be your job or just life in general. Things can seem out of control at times and we need to take time to collect ourselves. This should be done on a weekly basis, to have some rest. Our bodies are not designed to keep going as long as we push them this day and age. This week as I sat in our churches leadership class, Second Mile one thing that stuck out to me is how we need to build people up. My last blog post I talked briefly about how the enemy wants to get us into a mediocre lifestyle. If that doesn’t work then he will get us interested in so many things at one time that we will not realize we are doing some of them, if not all of them in our own power. You can’t focus on helping others, if you are worn down.
I remember a time when I was involved in a ministry that was a test of my boldness every week. I would train a couple of individuals how to share the gospel with strangers. I did this for 4 years and by the time I was done the 4th year, I saw my excitement dwindle and my trainees slowly quit. So, what started out as a exciting ministry to be involved in became an arduous task. I thought I was doing what God wanted me to do, and I may have, but I lacked one important ingredient, tenacity. The above verses for this week speak of this so clearly. Persistent determination or tenacity is achieved through two things: Love and surrender.
I like to point out also that just because I was involved in a ministry that I got burned out on, does not mean that it was not God’s will that I do it. For me it was lack of the first element and that was love. This actually is the most important element we need for tenacity to happen. I remember one of the pastors that was over this ministry said that we need to have love for the people we are sharing with. I recall sitting there and thinking, I’m not sure what he is talking about. I thought that I was fueled by love, but I really wasn’t. At that time I was over 400 pounds and slowly getting sicker as time went on. I really didn’t understand God’s love fully, so how could I really love others when I really didn’t love myself first? Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I hated myself, I just focused on the imperfections that the enemy wanted me to see. When that happens, it clouds your perspective of God. God loves me no matter what, and once I understood that, that was the fuel I needed for ministry and tenacity to continue on.
The second element goes hand in hand with love and that is surrender. Surrender is when we take ourselves off the throne of our lives and put Jesus there. We all know that Jesus is savior, but is He Lord of your life? When you surrender and put Jesus unconditionally in control of your life you have a power source that cannot be stopped. Jesus talked about the living waters that will flow from you. So here is the focus, we love ourselves the way God loves us, then we love God back and then we can surrender and allow that love to flow through us with the Holy Spirit directing our path. The ministry I am involved with now keeps me very busy, but I am truly fueled by love and I don’t tire. It takes us being vulnerable and uncomfortable sometimes to see tenacity happen and to find that unstoppable love that can fuel not just our ministry, but our lives in general.