When you’re tired, be careful!

strengthBeing a pastor is a joyful calling for me … most of the time.  It is a privilege to lead a congregation, to love people, to be there for others in times of need.  Then there are those weeks when I give it my all, walk with people through crisis, when I’m disappointed in an outcome, preach with a holy passion and I get tired.  When fatigue sets in, I become vulnerable to discouragement. Everything looks impossible and worst of all, I am prone to anger. In my own life, I call it the “Elijah complex.”

Elijah was a preacher to Israel in an evil time, when two ungodly people ruled: Ahab and Jezebel.  The Lord God gave Elijah the difficult job of announcing judgment!  At God’s command, rain would not fall and consequently, crops would not grow, leaving many to suffer and die. Obviously that message would not make Elijah an admired man, would it? Famine came and people hated him. Finally, there was a crisis, a conflict, and an amazing victory on Mt. Carmel. Jezebel was furious and declared that she would kill him if she found him. Should he have been afraid? Not really, God was with him but the man of God was exhausted and in the moment when he might have rejoiced, he ran away! Alone under a tree in the wilderness, he sobbed, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life.” (1 Kings 19.4) He was not just being dramatic or selfish. He was genuinely spent and his perspective was skewed by fatigue. Listen to his lament: “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I alone am left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” (1 Kings 19:10)

Can you identify with his heart?
Have you ever poured yourself into some great effort for the Lord,
or given life your all only to descend into discouragement when it was over:
overwhelmed by feelings of isolation, futility, or hopelessness?

God didn’t kick him while he was down. God didn’t say, “Well, what a weakling my prophet turned out to be. I’ll just let him die and find someone else to do my work.” The Lord showed up to restore Elijah! First, he was fed miraculously to restore his strength and then God gave him a new vision.  Those few verses in 1 Kings 19 that describe the scene are among my favorites in the Scripture.  The mountain where Elijah was holed up was torn by a powerful wind, then shaken by an earthquake. After that, a blaze of fire swept the face of the mountain. The prophet discerned that God’s Presence was not in the BIG, NOISY, and IMPRESSIVE displays! Then came a gentle whisper- God’s revelation of Himself.  The prophet was reminded that he was not alone. “There are 7000 in Israel who have not joined the idol worshippers!” And, he was directed to go find Elisha and start to mentor him.

Tired? Too many failures in a row?  Working diligently and not getting results you desire? In your fatigue, have you concluded that God has ‘failed’ you? There is no sin in feeling disappointment or even in asking questions. But, make sure you listen for HIS answer. Likely God’s answer to you will come in a quiet whisper that invites you to wait out His purposes. Do not try to go it alone! Stay involved with those who love you and share your love of God. Remember this: “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6) I’d love to have my work validated by all the marks of success, but that may not happen. Faithfulness is enough.

And, hear this word from the Word. Even when we are faltering, HE knows what is ahead and He is able to accomplish His purposes.  “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:25-26 — The Message


Lord I Need You

Lord I come I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
And without You I fall apart
You’re the one that guides my heart

Lord I need You oh I need You
Ev’ry hour I need You
My one defense my righteousness
Oh God how I need You

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Where You are Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus You’re my hope and stay
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus You’re my hope and stay

Lord I need You oh I need You
Ev’ry hour I need You
My one defense my righteousness
Oh God how I need You
My one defense my righteousness
Oh God how I need You

Christy Nockels | Daniel Carson | Jesse Reeves | Kristian Stanfill | Matt Maher
© 2011 sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Sweater Weather Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCLI License # 810055

Published by Jerry Scott

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a Dad to Jay, Sean, Christine, and Maribel. I am a Pastor at Faith Discovery Church. Jerry D. Scott

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