Summary: To avoid burnout and stay focused on our mission to share the good news we must be raised up revved up and prayed up according to Isaiah 40:21-31 1st Corinthians 9:16-23 and Mark 1:29-39
Raised Up Revved Up Prayed Up
Most of us are very busy and we associate this with being productive. But I have found that everyone likes to declare a “snow day” once in a while and simply slow down and sit around and read a book or decide not to try to accomplish much of anything that day. We may feel a small tinge of guilt but mostly it restores our soul. As humans we become tired and need to rest. And especially God’s servants get burnout and want to throw in the towel sometimes or feel unappreciated and need something to spur them on.
In our passage from Isaiah, Israel is complaining that they are out of God’s sight and concern. They say their way is hidden from God and their cause is disregarded by him. They figure they are in trouble and God is not acting on their behalf so therefore he either doesn’t know they have a problem or he is just too tired to deal with it. Isaiah is incredulous and asks them twice, “Do you not know, have you not heard…” God never becomes weary or tired!
Just look up at the stars and think about the creator who knows each one by name and how much more he knows YOU by name and knows what situation you are facing. Our way is not hidden from God.
Just as an entire ocean cannot be seen in a bay, there is a vastness to God that cannot even be seen in the incarnation of Jesus. He was limited in time and space but God is not.
When governments and nations are in turmoil, God is still on his throne and we can trust in His sovereignty. He will act at the proper time.
A great view of God is essential for great hope and great energy. Physical and mental fatigue have a deeper cause in a tired spirit. Frustrations and dashed hopes mean we need to lift our eyes and change our focus to an everlasting God who never grows tired. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (V29)
We must mentally and physically wait for the Lord to intervene and then He raises us up as on the wings of an eagle and we can continue effortlessly propelled by the spirit of the living God.
Eagles lock their wings in a storm and allow the strong winds to lift them and they soar above the storm. That is what God will do for us when we simply trust him during the storms of our lives.
Isaiah mentions flying, running and walking. There are times when we need different paces to surmount our problems. God knows how to get us to victory. We either rise above it, run away from it, or keep on walking by faith until we get out of it with God’s help.
I read a story about a South American company who ordered a fancy printing press from the USA but when it came they couldn’t get it to work. They finally called the company back and asked them to send a representative from the company to help them. The person they sent was so young they called back and asked for another more experienced representative. Their reply was, “This young man made the machine, why don’t you let him fix it for you?”
God made you and he can fix your problems. Wait patiently for him.
Lock into your faith and expect to be raised up by God.
Now we turn our attention to the passage from Corinthians about Paul who seems to be an indefatigable Christian! He says he is compelled to preach so he can’t boast about it. He even preaches voluntarily without a salary because of the trust committed to him and his reward is that he gets to preach the gospel free of charge, rather than for money. When you are doing what you love and getting the results you want you would do it whether you are paid or not and Paul was in a unique position to be able to do other work to support himself. He was a free man but willing to be a slave or a servant for the cause of the gospel. A divine commission not a monetary attraction was Paul’s motivation for ministry and he went about it in a most unusual way. He was really revved up! And he knew his audiences and tailored his message to meet them where they were.
Rather than stiffly adhering to Jewish practices, he ate with Gentiles and understood their ways. He didn’t teach from the law because they were unfamiliar with it. He was not bound by any law except the law of Christ which is to love God and your neighbor as yourself. He saw everyone as his neighbor who needed to hear the gospel.