Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.
One of the things I love about our car is when you get low on gas, not only does it notify you, the navigation screen automatically shows you where all the gas stations are. If I keep going, the alarm will continue to let me know every few miles that it’s time to fill up. So far I haven’t run out of gas in it. That’s a good thing because I know what it’s like to run out of gas and to have to do the walk of shame to the gas station.
What about you? Have you ever run out of gas? Have you ever run out of gas spiritually? Again, I’m guilt of that too. I’ve let myself run out gas spiritually and I’ve stalled. There were warnings that I over looked and things that I did that caused me to run out. One of the first things I quit doing was reading the Bible daily. It was more of a box to check off for me at the time and I saw it as a chore. When I quit reading my Bible, my faith took a hit.
Romans tells us that faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God. I increase my faith by putting God’s Word in me. I wasn’t doing that, and I quickly found out that I was susceptible to attacks. It turns out that faith is also our shield that helps protect us against the fiery darts of the devil. I then began to slip in areas I had never had trouble in. I started to go places and to do things that I never dreamed I would have.
After that, I noticed that my church attendance began to slip. “I wasn’t getting anything out of it,” I would say. I wasn’t getting anything out of it because I wasn’t trying to. I wasn’t listening because I didn’t want to be convicted of the things I was doing. I didn’t want to be questioned by people at church when I did go, so I started leaving as soon as the pastor ended his sermons. I cut myself off from the community of believers.
Hebrews 10 tells us not to forsake the assembling of fellow believers. I looked up “forsake” and dictionary.com said, “to quit or leave entirely.” Because I did it, I know why the writer said we shouldn’t. I left a group of people who loved me, prayed for me and lifted me up when I needed it. Church is more than just a group of believers going to hear a message. It’s a place where we connect and find a sense of belonging.
After I left, it didn’t take long before I ran out of gas. When I couldn’t move forward in my life anymore, I decided to take that walk to the altar. The good news is that this walk isn’t a walk of shame. It’s a walk of rejoicing because God comes in, fills us with His love and restores us to a right relationship with Him. If you’re on empty today, you might have made the same mistakes I did. The good news is that He’s waiting to fill you up again and to restore your life. He did it for me and my church accepted me back with open arms. There’s no shame in walking home.
I’ve only been burned out a couple of times in my life. The times that I’ve experienced that have come after I’ve done too much for too long by myself. I’m not the type of person who likes to ask for help. My mentality has always been, “If it’s going to be done right, I might as well do it myself.” I get tired of waiting for other people to see the need and pick up the slack, so I jump in and do it. I don’t ask for help because I think people should know help is needed and offer theirs.
Maybe you can relate with that line of thinking. You’ve probably burned yourself out a time or two as well. It could be pride, or it could be stubbornness that keeps us from asking for help. Whatever it is, it costs us too much in the long run. After doing so much, we become like a dull ax. We work harder and harder, but don’t get some as much as we used to when we were sharp. We wear ourselves out exerting too much effort on our own.
Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed” (NLT). We need to resharpen ourselves from time to time so we can continue to be effective at what we are called to do. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” If you’re feeling like a dull as blade, you need to be sharpened. To do that, you need a friend capable of keeping you sharp.
In order to succeed at anything God calls us to, we can’t do it by ourselves. We are laborers together. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. Many times people are wanting to be asked instead of feeling like they’re intruding on your work. When we share the load, we halve the burden. When we halve the burden, we stay sharp longer. If you’re getting dull, reach out to someone today and ask them to work with you. You’ll be a lot more successful and stronger.
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
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