Exhausted that’s good! Exhaustion has appeared on the stage of ministry as an unwelcome intruder. To be worn out, whacked out, worked up and wrung out seems to be bad news. Or is it?
A lot of people complain all the time that they’re tired and weary and that definitely includes ministers and their teams, but is that one of the conditions that accompany a life that’s out of sync with the will of God, or is it one of the conditions that accompanies a life that’s completely in sync with scaling the heights of destiny and shaping our world? In the book of Ruth, Naomi declares, “I went away full but the Lord has brought me back empty.” Was it such a bad thing? In 2 Timothy, Paul declares, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering …” Was that a recipe for a nervous breakdown? Being emptied, spent, done in and fed up are in fact all excellent places to be. And for the following top 10 reasons!
1. You’ve got to be empty to be filled
Blessed are the ‘poor in spirit.’ The bereft and exhausted! Why – because the last of what we have is as important as the first of what we have. It’s the very last morsels of our energy that need to remain dedicated to the pursuit of God. Often people encourage us to hold on to three nights a week and make them ours. If you dare to spend yourself on behalf of the needy (and replace complaining with complete faith in God’s provision) watch out. Your light’s about to explode as God fills you with glory for all to see. (Isaiah 58:10)
2. It’s our utmost for His highest
Don’t ever die still with potential in your heart. It’s ok to say to a thirty year old – ‘You’ve got potential,’ but it seems odd to say it to a fifty-five year old. Why? Because the older we get, the faster we should run, holding nothing back for a rainy day, believing that all we have and own has been lent to us by our Lord. Our aim is to turn ‘potential’ into ‘kinetic’ at every possible opportunity.
3. The end of the natural is the beginning of the supernatural
Job 42:10 says, ‘After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosper again …’ . After the smallest of all his concerns had been exhausted, the Lord turned the page. The King James version states it even more dramatically. ‘The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends.’ When the last of the bread was broken, the miracle started to flow 5000 in one encounter.
4. You’re proving your faith is alive
Faith without works is still dead – as much today as it ever was. Buoyancy is the evidence of great faith. A hive of activity should be the description of every local church. If you believe it, you’ll act upon it. Action means high energy. And that means exhaustion, ready to be filled again and again with the energy of heaven.
5. It demonstrates your devotion
Ask any team member of any entrepreneurial company that has a desire for world domination – they’re always tired! That’s life for motivated people; tired, but loving every minute of it. Christians that are too light-footed may be a little divorced from full devotion. To be sold out in your love for Christ and people demonstrates the magnitude of the cause – the greatest cause on earth.
6. You’re on the brink of a miracle
‘Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning’ Psalm 30:5. When the brook runs dry, there’s a miracle with the woman at Zarephath waiting. Your faith is the key to your future. Faith always bleeds hope and expectation when cut with the knife of crisis. Right now, you may need two weeks in the Bahamas without anyone, but the replenishment of the spirit is of even greater value and it’s coming. Stressed? Let Jesus take the load – and don’t stop. ‘My expectation is in Him!’
7. God exalts the humble
To be full of oneself is a life of crime. To be emptied through a life of grime lifting up the lowly is a life that’s loved by heaven. Self- protection, self- confidence, self- esteem, self-worth, self-consciousness and rewarding oneself are all full of self. Teach your people to cross the line to complete dependency upon God. Influence and authority awaits!
8. Exhausted people have the best holidays
Work hard, play hard! It’s the bane of the lazy – how can you unwind unless you’ve been wound up? To have the best holiday, you need to go into it having given your all to the world around you. Too many ministers have a life of leisure!
9. The Church grows because of you
Ephesians 4 states ‘… as each part does its work …’. Work implies a depletion of energy resources. The promise is that the body ‘grows and builds itself up …’ as a result of hard work. Jesus asks us to pray for ‘labourers’ for the harvest field. That implies work: the hard work of ‘compelling’ them to come to Jesus. What a result! Exhausted? That’s good!
10. Great is your reward in heaven
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me a crown of righteousness.” That is the greatest of our rewards, but not the end of them. Stop siding with the unadventurous people who have allowed their Christianity to simmer and smolder. Stir up the energies of the Spirit, step out into the unexplored, and cast your eyes towards eternity . Great your reward shall be.