This mission that we are on is NOT is easy, in fact it is arduous, laborious and often exhausting. We might feel compelled to do things our way and become tempted to rely solely on our strength – and this is where burnout takes place.
There are often soldiers and officers who have dead eyes. What do I mean by “dead eyes” – the spark has gone out. The fire that once burned so brightly is just a glowing ember. The fight has has been squelched. Have you been there? If so how do you come back from that place? How do you recapture that fire, that spark?
Here are 3 suggestions.
3 Primer observations to help us prevent burnout.
3 Ways To Prevent Burnout
1. Go to the well often!
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint…” (Jeremiah 31:25)
The well of the Lord is deep.
He provided aid and renewal to Elijah in his time of need, he provided comfort and assurances to David when he was on the run, and He will provide us this water when we too are distressed and in need of it.
This well of the Lord can be found in the spiritual discipline of prayer & meditation…but it can also be found in the nature around us. Have you ever just walked out in the woods and felt the peace and tranquility of that place? It sort of took away that crazy, busy, go-go-go lifestyle that you’re used to in your every day life? These walks can become that well to us because we are connecting with nature-created by God himself. But this well can be different for all of us. He can come and refill us in the most unlikely of places.
If you’re burned out right now, or finding yourself close to the end of your rope, don’t quit or surrender, instead seek out His well of refreshing. He wants us to drink deeply from it often so that we will never thirst or grow weary of this mission that we have been placed on to save souls and go for the worst!
2. Understand you aren’t a solitary soldier
“He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left...” (1 Kings 19:10)
Elijah felt all alone after experiencing a phenomenal defeat of King Ahab, Jezabel and the prophets of Baal, and despite this victory, Elijah feared for his life and felt as if he was all alone. Have you ever felt this way? It’s very common for Officers and Soldiers to feel this way even after experiencing successes at your corps and appointments. Perhaps Satan would love to convince us that we are all alone. The father of lies would love nothing more than to distort the truth and make us believe we have to stand alone…but it’s simply not true.
When we experience burnout, it often comes from a place of utter aloneness…you know what I mean. We feel abandoned, alone and afraid. We might fall into a deep depression like Elijah did and come to the conclusion that we too are the only ones left. It’s not true. Perhaps in this moment of realization it would be time to seek out other believers, those who can surround you with encouragement, love and support. Find another church and/or pastor, seek out another corps member, soldier, friend, call up a mentor or divisional officer that you trust – You. Are. Not. Alone. We were never meant to be solitary soldiers!
3. Our Power doesn’t come from us – but the Holy Spirit.
“but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
I have a confession to make, all to often I rely on my own power, wisdom and strength rather than fully relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. Does this ring true for you as well? I want control. I need to press forward, and so I do, only to find that I have moved ahead of God and out of step with Him. Have you experienced this too? I believe this is where burnout can happen too. We exert so much of ourselves, we pour so much of ourselves, we invest our everything – but it is done with our own pride and strength and we find that once our strength is all gone, we have no idea what to do next besides feeling weak, alone, and powerless.
Dear Soldier, our strength and power has never been enough for the tasks that we have been given. The great burden of ministry was never ours to carry alone, we are only asked to be faithful while the Holy Spirit will lead and provide. I cannot count how many times the Lord has had to remind me of this. I charge in with all of my might and power only to discover I have run ahead of Him…and I run out of strength and power. Does this happen to you too? Are you there right now? You have exerted all of your power, and now you are burnt out? Perhaps it’s time to go back to the well. Perhaps it’s time to realize you aren’t a solitary soldier, perhaps it’s time to ask for the Holy Spirit’s strength and power once again to fill you.
If you are burned out right now – there is hope!
If you feel as if you might be headed that way – it’s time to take personal inventory of your actions, motivation and life. This Army has never been about us shining and looking good in our uniforms, but instead it has always been about fully submitting to God and allowing Him to lead us in His strength and power. Faith doesn’t require us to conquer the world, it simply requires us to conquer our fears through the power of the Holy Spirit, from there, full submission to God can and will lead us onward.
Something more for our Army to ponder today.
To God be the glory!
Thank you so much for writing these things…these words encourage me, inspire me and reassure me that some of the things I have been doing were ok to do! For example I have been praying with a group of pastors on a weekly basis and, as there is no Officers fellowship in my area, this group has become it. Their prayer support has been wonderful, in fact crucial when I look back over the past 5 years. This has been a difficult appointment but thank God we have got through the worse and we are on the up now. I have learnt about trusting God and His timing through the interaction with these pastors who are leaders of various denominations in the town.