We were together. I forget the rest. —Walt Whitman
What’s the secret to avoiding burnout? Stop trying to be Jesus.
You laugh, but it’s true. I’ve been in ministry for a number of years. I’ve seen people work themselves to the bone. They pour themselves out past empty and then turn themselves inside out. They do it all for Jesus. They do it all for love. Their intentions are pure-hearted but their methodology is unbiblical.
If you want to avoid burnout, you’re going to have to let Jesus be Jesus—and that requires a great deal of surrender and dependence.
“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain…” (Mark 4:26-28)
The Kingdom of God is like this:
- God grows it.
- God produces it.
- God knows how it works.
The Kingdom of God is like this: You don’t have to kill yourself to make sure it lasts. You are able to abide in the Lord and scatter where He tells you to scatter, plant where He tells you to plant, and—this is amazing—rest at regular intervals in between.
If the indwelling is the Spirit’s resting in you, then dependence is you resting in Him.
It’s that simple and yet that hard.
A little countercultural prescription for the day: Dependency means we wait for God to do His thing without doing it for Him. And in the waiting, we can just enjoy His company. (Big sigh.)
Lord, I thank You that I don’t have to do this by myself. You’ve given me a specific role: I must abide in You and You abide in me. I don’t have to know the inner workings of Your Kingdom and its growth. I don’t have to have all the answers. All I need is You, so that I can scatter Your truth in lives around me. Amen.