I met with a saint of a lady yesterday. She is an ‘older’ lady with the energy of a 30-year-old. Working so very hard to do the work of the Lord in the church and in her family, she presses on each day. We met to talk about a few things and prayer requests she had on her mind. As we talked, she mentioned how some had encouraged her to slow down. They said that she needed to learn how to say ‘no’ sometimes.
I do not disagree that we must learn how to say ‘no’ to some things in life. I believe one of the tactics of the enemy is to get us so tired that it causes health, relational, emotional, then spiritual issues for us. We need to learn how to decide what God wants us to do and stick to that and not overwhelm ourselves. Nevertheless, the balance to this is that working for the Lord has a very positive effect on how we feel. And this brings us to our Verse of the Day:
The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
What is the law? The law teaches us how to love and like the old DC Talk song says, “Luv is a verb!” The law of the Lord, when we follow it, leads us to live a life of loving. We help others. We give to others. We serve others. We minister to others. And what is the effect this has on our soul? Our soul is refreshed. Jesus once said that his food was doing the work of the Lord (John 4:34). His soul was nourished through the ministry.
Jesus also said that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). The sinful nature moves us to be selfish and self-absorbed with our own life. Selfishness creates conflict (James 4:1). Conflict creates pain, bitterness, and anger. All of these bring death to our soul. But love expressed in our lifestyle refreshes our soul.
I think it is important here that I address the fact that many ministers burn out and many people in ministry burn out. How can this be if ministry is supposed to refresh the soul? First, we must remember that God’s desire is for us to be sanctified in our physical bodies, our soul, and our spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). This means that our physical bodies will affect our spiritual walk and vice-versa. We need to take care of our bodies and we need rest. Do you remember the whole Sabbath thing?
The New Testament teaches that worship doesn’t have to be on the Sabbath (Colossians 2:16-17), but the Sabbath still teaches a significant principle. The Sabbath was holy because God had worked for six days and on the seventh day He rested (Genesis 2:3). Did you hear that? God declared the seventh day holy because, on it, He rested. We need to learn how to rest.
We need to rest our physical bodies and we need to rest our minds. We must learn the principle of casting our anxiety upon the Lord daily so our mind can rest. In fact, the promise of God is that when we can lay down our burdens and give them to the Lord, He gives us strength (Psalm 55:22).
If God knows the deep inner functioning of humanity, it would seem we need a day of physical rest at least one day a week and spiritual rest daily. When we don’t learn these principles, we will burn out. But there is one more thing that will cause us to burn out in ministry -the lack of love.
If our perspective of ministry is a chore, a burden, we will burn out. But if we see our calling as an expression of love, we will find supernatural strength from the Lord. The key is our perspective. If we function in the sinful nature as we do ministry, we will have a selfish perspective and be bothered that we are not getting the things in life we desire. But if we do ministry out of love, our focus is on others and what God can do for them through us as His vessel. Perspective makes all the difference.
Does your soul need refreshing? Are you doing the work of the Lord? Are you getting the physical and spiritual rest you need?
Leave me a comment. I love to hear from you all!