The ministry lends itself to two extremes- working too much, and working too little. Many of us only know one speed. . . full speed. Unfortunately, some also take advantage of the ministry and are not as diligent as they should be. Most trend toward the former, and not the latter.
In Mark 6, Jesus commissioned His disciples and gave them authority to do the work He called them to. They went off and returned excitedly to gather around Jesus to tell Him all they had done. Interestingly, Jesus did not have time for their stories. Immediately He told them, “come away with me and rest awhile.” We can press ahead without taking adequate time for rest, but if we do, we will lack genuine effectiveness. Jesus knew this, and modeled it for His disciples.
In shepherding, there has to be a constant effort to balance advance and retreat. When we step forward into the battle, we must give our best to the task. When we step back to regroup, the Lord prepares us for the next battle.
A significant hazard in ministry is trying to discern the difference between times of advance and times of retreat. We need time to experience God’s presence, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
How can we practically walk with God, and follow his pace for our lives and not our own?
Do not compromise your daily time alone with God. You have nothing more important to do than walk with God, pray, and meditate on His Word. Everything else in your life will flow out of this.
When you work, give your best to God. He is worthy of our full devotion, and absolute surrender.
Observe the Sabbath in your life. Schedule the time weekly, and don’t violate it. God set this at Creation, and has not revoked it.
Use the time off that is allotted to you in vacation. Some in ministry do not use their time off and almost wear that as a badge of courage. It is not a badge of courage, it is foolish.
Constantly seek God’s will for how you utilize the time you have. Avoid the tyranny of the urgent and pace yourself for the long run.
“No man will ever be great for God unless he gets alone with God.” Leonard Ravenhill