April 24, 2009

Burn Out

I have often wondered about people working in ministry who appear to be suffering from burnout or have actually burned out and have stepped away; often with lives broken, family hurt, the glory of God seeming to fade a little bit intot the background. Have heard some chapel services at DTS preaching on something similar.

I say to myself, how can that be? Why would God allow it? The answer is, as usual, with us and not God. I like the way my dear friend Mr Chambers addresses it in these excerpts:

Beware of any work for God that causes or allows you to avoid concentrating on Him. A great number of Christian workers worship their work. The only concern of Christian workers should be their concentration on God... A worker who lacks this serious controlling emphasis of concentration on God is apt to become overly burdened by his work. He is a slave to his own limits, having no freedom of his body, mind, or spirit. Consequently, he becomes burned out and defeated. There is no freedom and no delight in life at all. His nerves, mind, and heart are so overwhelmed that God’s blessing cannot rest on him. But the opposite case is equally true--once our concentration is on God, all the limits of our life are free and under the control and mastery of God alone. There is no longer any responsibility on you for the work. The only responsibility you have is to stay in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your cooperation with Him.

Oswald Chambers - My Utmost For His Highest: April 23 Devotional

I need to remind myself that when I feel the burn (or more appropriately, the burn out) building, I need to step back and over to the center, back onto God's path. He will not let me burn out if I am in His will and His way. He will not let anyone else either.

If it is happening, you or I are doing something very wrong. We should be able to do God's work and fulfill our responsibilities to spouses, family, and those around us. Because that is God's work too.

And God does not give us more that we can handle.

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