June 16, 2010

Not Me, God. I’m Exhausted.

Last week I was presented with two ministry opportunities. Both are with organizations I believe in, work with and support, and both were unexpected requests. Initially I was flattered to be asked to take a bigger role in each, but when the reality of adding more to my volunteer/ministry plate sunk in, the logical side of my brain screamed, “Are you crazy! The last thing you need is MORE work to do. You’re already doing far more than your fair share!”

The other half of my brain agreed, “Ya’ know, you’re right. Why should I be expected to do more? And how can I fulfill my other obligations if I said ‘yes?’”

That was pretty much my mindset all week. But inside, my spirit felt unsettled and challenged my trigger response. While the world may look favorably upon me if I do my "part," what does God have to say on the matter? Is giving Him my parts enough?

I turned to Scripture for answers. This verse stood out:
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48
I also discovered that as followers of Christ we are to:
  • Allow ourselves to be broken and poured out like a drink offering. (Philippians 2:17)
  • Offer our lives to the Lord as living sacrifices. (Romans 12:1)
  • Grow in wisdom so we can to discern between what is good and what is BEST. (Philippians 1:10)
  • Not grow weary from doing good. (Galatians 6:9)
  • Conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)
  • Run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)
  • Glorify God in all we do. (1 Corinthians 6:20; 10:31)
These job descriptions tell me our Heavenly Father doesn’t want part of us, He wants ALL of us. Excuses like, “Later,” “Find someone else,” or “I’m too busy/tired/stressed out,” don’t seem to be biblical responses.

Whenever I need a spiritual wake-up call, I turn to Oswald Chambers. Here's what he has to say:
You have no right to say—“O Lord, I am so exhausted.” He saved and sanctified you in order to exhaust you. Be exhausted for God, but remember that your supply comes from Him. “All my fresh springs shall be in Thee.”
So, there’s my answer. I must never grow weary and I need to say “yes” to every ministry request. Right? Well, that doesn't seem to be the appropriate response either.

The other day I happened upon a blog that helped clarify my thoughts. The pictures in the blog reminded me of my love for these people (which happens to be where one of my ministry opportunities lies). The images rekindled a flame in my heart. My spirit tingled with excitement.

I know that feelings are an unfaithful guide, but God’s given each of us unique gifts, hearts and passions. Shouldn’t these inner promptings direct us to where God’s calling us to serve? It seems that when we serve in these areas, our service isn’t a duty or response to guilt, it’s an act of love for our Heavenly Father who’s given us so much.

With refocused eyes, I reviewed the two ministry opportunities. The first one I have the skills to offer, but no passion for what I’ve been asked to do and it conflicts with my other “kingdom” activities. I feel at peace saying “no.” With the other opportunity, it’s clear God has given me a heart and desire to serve with the organization and the people they minister to. Even tentatively, I must say “yes.”

Part of me wants to selfishly protect my time and serve out of my comfort and convenience. But I hear Oswald Chambers reminding me, "Be exhausted for God." Such exhaustion is a privilege, not a burden.

I’ve been given much and I know that blessing comes with a great responsibility. In my heart I truly want to use all God gave me to bring glory to His name. I recognize that in this season, the demands upon me are great, but I will trust that my strength will come from Him who called me here in the first place.


Runner Mom said...

Kelli, this hit home! I needed to hear your words, God's Word, and a word from Mr. Chambers. Thank you for sharing this post! Plan on rereading this many times over.

I'll be praying as you make decisions and follow His will.

Love you!

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, you're right -- He certainly strengthens us for what He calls us to do. And He will also certainly guide us to say "yes" or "no" if we truly seek His will. God bless in your new ministry opportunity!

Melanie said...

Sometimes our "No's" are just as positive as our "Yes's."

Sue J. said...

Discernment is one of those things I pray for regularly. Romans 12:2, one of my favorites--"...do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

The world will tell you that you have enough and make sure you keep time for you. I was just sharing with a friend today that I'm finding the more time I give to God, through study or service, the more He blesses me with "me" time through those opportunities He calls me to.

There is taking the good thing because it's a good thing, and I'm glad you're not doing that, because it's not necessarily a God thing! But, you have to always put the call first. The equipping part--and dealing with the human issues (scheduling, stamina, logistics, what-not) comes later (i.e., during). But, all through Him, all is possible!

Excited to hear about the changes underway!

Marsha said...

You hit the nail on the head, Kelli. I was in the same place last week. I think you may know by now where I ended up. ; )