If you’ve been in a leadership position of any kind, I’m sure you’ve had this thought: “I just can’t do this anymore.” I know in those days and weeks leading up to the end of myself in ministry or relationship, I have felt like there is a slow-moving train headed straight for me that I can’t escape from. I feel my ability run out and I lose the will to keep pressing on, because I don’t have any strength left to pull from. Have you been there?
God has been teaching me and changing me in this place. He has been allowing the weight of what I hold to become too heavy at times, so He can show me the truth. When my ministry has become too heavy, He has shown me that I have been using my own strength to accomplish what He has set before me.
The Word says His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If I am picking up His yoke and handing Him mine, the weight of what I hold should be light.
By allowing me to reach the end of myself, He has shown me that I am too self-reliant. More often than I care to admit, I wake up in the morning and begin ordering my tasks in my mind and I head out with my own plan of how to get them done. So often I don’t even check with Him before I go and do. This is self-reliance.
When it’s exposed I wonder to myself why I would choose self-reliance when the God of the universe has given me access to His wisdom. I think we all know the answer: pride.
Our pride says, “I can, I will, and I know.”
Pride displays itself in us as leaders in so many ways, but self-reliance is a killer. Self-reliance puts our wisdom above His. It says that we know. It says that we can. And the truth is that we do have abilities and we do know some things, but we only truly know the things He has given us to know. We can only really do what He has made us able to do.
Walking in self-reliance is like pulling water from a well that has a shallow depth. This well empties quickly. If nothing gets poured into the well to keep it full, we run empty. On the other hand, reliance on God lets us pull from an unending, bottomless well that is always full. There is always enough because the source has no end.
God tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” And Paul replies, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
These are not just nice thoughts presented in God’s word for us to consider. This way of thinking and being is the only truth. We find power and strength in our weaknesses. We only find them in Him.
So if, like me, your strength is waning and you are running out of endurance, chances are you are pulling from the wrong well. If we choose to get to the place of rejoicing in our weaknesses, we can truly receive and experience the strength of our God.
In one of my journal entries this year, God spoke this to me. I pray it encourages you like it did me.
I asked Him, “How much do you love me?”
He said, “My mercy shows you. I let you rest. Come and rest in Me. You are whole here in Me…here in My love. You can come to Me anytime. There is never a time that I won’t invite you. I will always say come. I will always bring you closer to Me. This will happen forever. I am so unsearchable that you will be moving toward me for all eternity and never reach the end of who I am.”
“Everything is ok. We are ok. Resistance is a part of growing. Your resistance to change and surrender is a natural part of your sanctification. It’s ok. Resistance does not equal sin or failure. Where there is resistance, there is refining. Look at resistance with joy. Look at your struggles to let go as the pathways to knowing Me, and not just to knowing Me, but to living in Me. Yes, here is where you find the well of strength, the well of power, the unending well of peace. Here is where you meet the source—here in your weakest.”