Author Topic: Devotion  (Read 3807 times)


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Re: Devotion
« Reply #90 on: June 09, 2019, 09:32:12 pm »
Avoiding Burnout
Mar 06, 2019 | Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”  Mark 6:31  Friend to Friend

I sat on the edge of my seat as I watched my son’s first track meet. The crowd was abuzz as moms and dads chatted, waiting for their teens to dash, sprint, or endure the eight laps of the 3200-meter race. But when the  boys lined up for the hurdles event, the visiting stopped and the crowd watched with rapt attention.  Why?

In the hurdles event, the stakes were higher. It became less about who would win, and more about who would gracefully leap and clear the metal roadblocks or tip and topple over the intentional barriers.  Hurdles they are not simply found on the asphalt of track and field but also in the great race called life. As women, we struggle finding balance with our many roles and responsibilities. Our flame of enthusiasm begins to diminish when we are doing more than God intended or when we are doing what God intended, but on our own strength rather than His.  In the Bible we see many who experienced times of burnout. After Jonah’s miraculous delivery from the big fish and prophetic announcement to the people of Nineveh, he sank into a depression and wanted to die. “Now, Lord, take away my life,” he cried. “For it is better for me to die than to live.” (Jonah 4:3).

After Elijah destroyed 850 false prophets and called down fire from heaven that miraculously burned up sacrifices to Baal, the fire in his own life went dim (1 Kings 18-19). And yet, after it was over, he wanted to quit. Elijah prayed, “I have had enough, LORD. Take my life” (1 Kings 19:4).

How do we avoid those same feelings of burnout, even after a great success?

The first step is to realize that it can happen and does happen to the best of us. Burnout is real. We can run out of steam and lose our drive.  What was God’s response to Elijah’s cry to quit?

Let’s take a look at 1 Kings 19. I suggest you pull out your Bible and follow along.

•   He allowed Elijah to sleep (19:5)–rest.
•   He sent an angel to provide food for him to eat (19:5)–refreshment
•   He allowed Elijah to sleep again (19:6)–more rest
•   He sent an angel to provide food for him to eat again (19:7)–refreshment
•   He caused Elijah to ponder what he was doing: “What are you doing here?” (19:9)–reflection
•   He spoke to Elijah personally (19:11)–response
•   He caused Elijah to ponder what he was doing, again. “What are you doing here?” (19:13)–reflection
•   He told Elijah what to do next (19:15)–redirection
•   He showed Elijah whom He had appointed to help him (19:16)–reinforcement

Even Jesus had to take time to rest, refresh, reflect, respond, redirect, and gather reinforcement. The Bible tells us this about Jesus: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed” (Mark 1:35 NIV).

Early in the morning Jesus went off by Himself and spent time alone with His heavenly Father. Interestingly, Simon and his companion interrupted Jesus’ time of prayer.  “Everyone is looking for you!” they exclaimed. (I’ve been there. I bet you have too.)

The day before, Jesus had healed many men and women. No doubt, the disciples and the townspeople wanted Him to return to perform more miracles. But Jesus had a different idea. ”Let us go somewhere else to the nearby villages so I can preach there also,” He said.  "That is why I have come.”

I love that Jesus said “no” to a good thing so that he could say “yes” to the best thing. That is the bull’s eye to avoiding burnout. But how do you know when to say no?

He prayed.  If you’re feeling a bit burned out today: Consider the following.

•   Rest often. (God rested on the seventh day.)
•   Refresh with proper diet.
•   Re-evaluate priorities and responsibilities on a regular basis (monthly).
•   Relegate and delegate.
•   Review commitments regularly (monthly).
•   Resist saying “yes” to demands and requests that do not line up with what God has called you to do.
•   Resist being ruled by your schedule and allow for divine appointments from God that may not be on your schedule.
•   Remove superfluous activities that interfere with or choke out God’s agenda.
•   Refocus on what God has called you to do rather than what others would like for you to do.
•   Remain in close and constant communion with God.


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Re: Devotion
« Reply #91 on: June 13, 2019, 09:03:16 pm »
Fear Has a Really Big Mouth
Mar 07, 2019 | Gwen Smith

Today's Truth

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I often try to quiet fear by pretending it doesn’t exist. Clever  I know. But alas, it does exist and that’s not always a bad thing. To the contrary, it can actually keep us safe in proper context. When my house was struck  by lightning and lit with fire, fear sounded an emotional alarm, insisting that I escape and fast. In this instance, fear was good. It kept me safe.  In many instances, however, fear is not good. I’ve found that while it’s natural to be afraid at times human, even it’s best to not allow feelings of fear to consume and control large spaces of real estate in my heart. In Psalm 56, David handles the intersection of his fear and faith nicely.  In Psalm 56, captured by the Philistines in Gath, and in Psalm 57, hiding in a cave to escape the pursuit of Saul, David sifted through honest feelings of vulnerability and desperation. I imagine his reality was one of shaky hands, pulse raging wild and brows soaked in sweat. Yet fear was silenced as he made the powerful decision to redirect his emotions toward a more productive, more faith-filled response when David chose to trust God.  By choosing to trust God in the hiding and in the chains, David’s fear shifted to faith.  Faith shuts the mouth of fear.  “When I am afraid, I will trust you.” (Psalm 56:3, CSB)

“You yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call. This I know: God is for me.” (Psalm 56:8-9, CSB)

These weren’t just flippant statements or memorized verses. These were sturdy declarations. Deliberate choices made by a deeply determined worshiper. The kind of choices that change and calm a frantic heart. The kind of choices that speak peace to anxiousness. The kind of choices we can make when we’re afraid. The kind of choice we can make when fear screams loud within.  Bring it. Fear is a liar. We can choose faith, knowing God is for us. Decision made.