In my Christian Counseling courses, there was one thing in common with every type of hurting person. They are EXHAUSTED. They expend all of their time, effort, money and relationships on trying to meet their own needs, and it fails every time. As physical, emotional, mental and spiritual exhaustion sets in, hopelessness starts to rear its head, and a cycle of depression can start. We have to guard against exhaustion and getting to that point.
Taking on what we were not created to do.
We are made with certain strengths, weaknesses and needs. We are called to certain places for God, places He designed specifically for us according to how He formed and fashioned us in our mother’s wombs. It might be a job, or a hobby, or a business, or a ministry, or even a relationship that He didn’t equip us to deal with, but we took it on anyway.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The word “easy” actually means “fits correctly”. A yoke for oxen had to be made to fit the oxen, and carpenters like Jesus didn’t normally make cabinets, they made fitted yokes. If the yoke fit correctly, it balanced the heavy load and made towing it easier.
If what you are doing is exhausting you instead of energizing you, there is a good chance that you have put on a yoke that doesn’t fit you. Continuing to do it doesn’t make the yoke fit any better, nor does it make the job any easier. We are to do what we are called to do, not just what is put in front of us, nor what we think will make our lives easier.
How many of us jump at whatever gets handed to us thinking that this will solve all of my problems, but then find you’ve jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. Things are just as bad or even worse. If you find that pattern in your life, then possibly you need to stop jumping and just sit still and don’t move until the Lord tells you to move. Every “good” opportunity isn’t necessarily a “God” opportunity, and Satan can distract you with the “good” things so you will not be available for the “God ordained” opportunity – the one that fits you to a tee.
Ask yourself from your life experience, “What tasks have I taken on in the past that I can do naturally that I enjoy and that energizes me so that I can do it for long periods of time? ”
Then ask yourself, “What tasks have I taken on in the past that drain me completely and I dread doing them again?”
There are some of you that need to stop, sit down, and stop making decisions that are not based on God’s will for you, and wait for those that suit your skills, talents and gifts. Don’t let FEAR push you into decisions, because they will backfire every time. If you do not have the peace of God, if you do not have provision in place, if you are not suited for the job, then STOP. Wait for the Lord’s best, not Satan’s good.
Trying to do it all yourself.
Psalm 127:1-2 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
If it is God’s will, He will always provide. He will provide the people, the funds, the opportunity, everything. If He is not providing, you have to question whether or not you are in the right place doing the right thing. Sometimes, you have to admit you jumped the gun and shouldn’t have made certain decisions. Sometimes, you have to admit this wasn’t God’s will, leave it alone and start over where, when and with whom God chooses this time.
You can wear yourself out trying to do everything yourself when God doesn’t provide what you need. And when you do that, you get resentful that no one else is helping you. But you need to ask what God wants done, not what you want done. Is the Lord building this, or are you? Are you staying up late and rising up early to fill in the blanks because God hasn’t “come through”? Maybe it isn’t His building. Maybe it isn’t His timing.
In my first marriage, my husband and I wanted to move from Florida to Atlanta. We tried finding him a job, but nothing was available. We just figured God was closing doors for a purpose and let it go.
When I was pregnant with my second child, we really wanted to move to Atlanta. This time, with one phone call, my husband was hired over the phone for a great job to start almost immediately. My parents went looking for houses in Carrollton, where the job was, and found us 5 houses to look for, and one was something like $60,000 under market value and just what we needed. We were worried our house wouldn’t sell, but not only did it sell quickly, the buyers wanted to move in early, so I didn’t have to stay in Florida alone with my 1 year old son for a month.
When it is God’s timing, it just comes together. The same has happened for Ministry House and Good Shepherd Recovery House. We have committed to be faithful to these ministries as long as God provides for them, and He has made a way where there seemed not to be a way multiple times. But we won’t ever try to make something happen in our own power. We simply are not that strong – or rich!
Trying to meet your needs in ways that are not godly or God-ordained.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
We all have needs, but when we try to meet them out of God’s will, it always backfires on us and bites us in the rear. We keep thinking, Next time, I’ll make a better decision and this relationship will turn out better. That’s the problem – YOU are making the decision, NOT the Lord.
God knows that you have needs – He put those needs in you. But they cannot be filled with just anything – those needs are in the shape of what God ordained to fill them. Nothing else will satisfy, no matter what you do. And you can only get what perfectly fits if you wait for Him to bring it to you and stop trying to cram in substitutions.
Getting rest through trusting God’s promises
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. Isa. 40:28-31
If you are trying to make it happen before its time, you will be exhausted. But when you wait for Him, He will renew your strength. He will BE your strength!
I Kings 8:56 “Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.”
Jeremiah 31:25 “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”
Colossians 1:29 “To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 18:31-32 “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”
Psalm 62:5 “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.”
Proverbs 3:24 “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
Exodus 33:14 “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Psalm 46:10 “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”