A lesson was taught to me recently. A harsh lesson yet again learned through my own experience rather than listening to the call of wisdom. The lesson is this:
“One flawed sinner cannot be the answer to all of man’s problems. Only Jesus Christ can.”
This may seem simplistic and rather elementary to some but let me explain. In the process of growing as a Christian I have made a fatal error. As God has placed more people in my path he has given me words to speak, equipped me with wisdom that I don’t have, and He allowed me to hurt with them without absorbing their pain thereby destroying myself.
The issue arose when we begin to be so focused on helping others that we fail to stop and feed ourselves. The very source of our strength that prepares us, equips us, and motivates us is a total and complete reliance upon God. This comes through daily prayer, study, worship, devotions, service, and ministry.
But what happens when we stop praying and keep serving?
What happens when we keep working but we stop worshipping?
What happens when we keep writing but we stop reading His word?
The answer is spiritual bankruptcy.
We become disconnected, empty, broken, and lose our drive. We feel hopeless and helpless and cry out to God for an answer but don’t listen for a response. We do all of the talking but none of the listening. The most difficult verse in the Bible for myself is this:
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Being still, truly still and listening for Him is more of challenge than we all would like to admit. Many of us would claim that God doesn’t answer us or that He is absent in our lives. The painful truth is that He is not absent; we are. We have wandered so far from the light that we have become lost in our own darkness. We have filled our lives with so much noise that we cannot hear the still small voice of God speaking to our hearts.
I share this with you today not out of pious condemnation of others but out of honest heartfelt confession about myself. I came to a place of burn out and didn’t even realize it. The work of child of God is not to be obligational but relational. If we claim to have peace and don’t have joy we lie and deceive our selves.
I broke down upon the foot of the cross where I should always remain as I think of all of my friends and family members who are struggling, who are suffering, who are in crisis, and when I realized: It is God who changes hearts, not me.
I would ask as you go and lead others do not forget to take time to stay connected to the true source of our strength: Jesus Christ. For with man everything is impossible but with God nothing is impossible.
Your fellow servant and brother in Christ,
Andy J. Starnes