DON’T GIVE UP
Our son Jeffrey asked the most poignant question yesterday, after Jeff returned from his golf tournament. He (Jeffrey 12) asked his father (Jeff 35),
“So dad, if you put all those hours into training, and you took all that time to prepare, and you thought you were ready… why didn’t it work, why didn’t you win?”
What a great question! Why don’t we always win when we put everything we have into what we were doing?
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”Matt 6:33-35 MSG
God desires to give us the victory. He desires for us all to be able to walk in victory, the Word itself says that He is no respecter of persons.
For years we have misquoted Winston Churchill as saying “NEVER, NEVER, GIVE UP!” when in reality, his encouraging words were not “Never give up” they were, “Never give IN.”
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill
Exhaustion. Exhausted mind, body, and spirit, is what caused Jeff to not be able to compete at his best. I should’ve, could’ve seen it coming. Endless hours, little sleep, not enough time to even eat. It had been drill, drill, drill, to the point of exhaustion.
Talented exhausted people, will always end up just plain exhausted.
Must of us, have been taught to just ‘grind’ it out until the job is completed at the cost of anything, most notably our health and families. Never ‘giving in’ however, is different than never ‘giving up’. You see, if you don’t give in you won’t give up.
“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
When we give in to temptations as a result of exhaustion, like that questionably rated movie, or t.v. show, or even that extra piece of chocolate cake, we set ourselves up for failure. Moments of exhaustion when we take our eyes off of God’s reality, open us up to attack from the enemy. The enemy is like a prowling lion and when he sees we are weak, he will not hesitate to pounce. God’s reality is for us to be made in the image of God. His reality is for us to be perfected in and by His Word. If we are dreaming about being someone else, or of having someone else’s life, we have become exhausted in our own reality. Rather than giving in to exhaustion, we should be giving our lives ‘up’ to God and casting our cares upon Him.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
We should never seek to give up on life, or the activity that God has called us to do. What we need to pay closer attention to is, are we still listening to God and His direction on the journey? Or have we ‘given in’ to our own desires, in order to ‘get get get’ it done? God will ‘give’ us everything we need to complete the tasks He has called us to, and it is up to us to not burn-out in the process.
His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. Let us not make ‘God’s’ business, vision, or ministry work a burden, or that work might as well be removed from us. God will not burden us, and if serving Him becomes a burden… you may end up having a serious problem. Learn to know God, as God is love, and you will never feel burdened by Him.
SIGNS OF EXHAUSTION…
Simple things like, forgetting to ask the counter clerk, “How are you today?” Forgetting to be kind to the solicitor to the door. Missing out on our opportunities to be Good Samaritan’s, because we are so busy accomplishing the “vision”. Even driving by the homeless in disgust… the list unfortunately is endless.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Cor 13:12
Brothers and sisters, today, let us get the rest we need, and begin loving others, by first loving ourselves. Let us take the time to walk outside, drive slower, and eat the great food that we need. Let us take good care of ourselves, and begin to steep ourselves in the Word of God. If we did nothing today but drink coffee or tea and read His Word, we would be getting in on God’s best, and we would be in the best of care.
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