Lately I have been hearing some stories mostly about ministers, pastors who either quit or are considering leaving the ministry. They are simply doing w-a-a-a-a-y too much. The problem is they either don’t know how to say, “No,” or they don’t know how to flow in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I remember a story David Wilkerson told about a time when he was working for Kathryn Kuhlman. He had preached his heart out at her meetings. They would start in morning and continue on into the evening. As you can probably understand, they were wiped out.
Well, one night Kuhlman asked David and his wife to go out and get something to eat. David declined, saying “I’m too tired. I’ve got to go to the motel and get some sleep.”
She raised her eyebrows and looked at him asking, “Did you preach under the Spirit’s unction tonight?” Of course David said he had. “You know I was anointed. The altars were filled!”
Then Kathryn said quietly, “Then you’re missing something. If you’re ministering under the power of the Holy Ghost, you should be stronger at the end of service than when you started—because he is a quickening Spirit! You can rise above your flesh, because by the Spirit you can claim that freedom.”
I still remember that, and from my own experience, I can assure you that she was correct. That’s why I wonder about those pastors who are becoming overworked and burned out. Oh, it’s not just full-time ministers who are having difficulty. I have heard the same confession coming from lay-ministers who are involved in various outreaches and ministries.
Don’t allow people to pull you into something your Father has not called you to — or make you feel guilty because you won’t participate in a particular task (or won’t minister to their needs) when the Lord has not given you the “green light” to get involved. Some of us still have not learned to know our limits and to say, “No.” Or if we do say, “No,” we feel we have to justify why we can’t (then we make up some lame excuse). Jesus said, “Let your yes be yes, and your no, be no.” There is no need to elaborate on the reason.
But as I was saying, if you don’t recognize and acknowledge your limitations — and set up boundaries — you are going to fry your brain and burn out physically and spiritually. Then you will develop a spirit of resentment to the ministry and to the people you are supposed to be ministering to.
Just take a deep breath and allow the Spirit of God to guide and direct you. He knows very well how big your heart is, and how you want to help everyone, but they will benefit more from your work if you will simply wait for the Lord to show you what to do and when to do it!
If someone gets upset or angry or frustrated about it, let the Lord deal with them. He will minister to them. Your own responsibility is the obey the Lord. Wait for His guidance. Move when He says you are to move. But also, when He says to move, don’t hold back and resist His call to minister. Again, the call is for you to Trust and to Obey.
Oh Father, you know our hearts. You know our desires to help, but there are only so many hours in the day. Please help us to be slow to respond when someone asks us to do something. Help us to wait for Your guidance and your leading to get involved. We truly understand that You want our best as well as theirs, and we fully trust you.
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