Learning to Linger
“. . . It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God . . .” Acts 6:2
We can’t sustain our faith on feelings alone. Faith flourishes when it’s fueled by the word of God. When we’ve lost spiritual momentum, when we feel discouraged and faith is weak, it’s a sign we must take the next step in our relationship with the Lord and begin to read His Word.
The apostles’ task was to guide a movement in accordance with the will of God. To accomplish the task, the leader must know how to teach the word of God. If they are to serve a balanced diet of word and truth, they themselves must feed on the word. Every person who ministers to others must experience the words of God being incarnated in their heart, mind, and soul, then worked out through their choices.
The idea of studying the Bible is given prominence on the platform. The Bible remains the most purchased book in the world, yet the least read. A healthy diet on the word of God is essential to sustaining long-term effectiveness, because when we read, we are refreshed. The nature of ministry is that there’s always a constant outflow towards others. When our output is greater than our input, burnout is not far away.
The collateral damage of helping others is that we are often wounded by the very ones to whom we are ministering. Many in ministry are bitter and jaded over the way they’ve been treated. There exists an offense towards others, because of the sacrifices they’ve made, and still they go unappreciated. It’s a wound from which many never recover.
The antidote to ministry burnout is learning to linger in the word. Reading refreshes us. David wrote of God’s word: “the law of the Lord revives the soul” he goes on to write “If your law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction.” (Psalm 119:92). Reading energizes us. It washes away old ways of fatigue and fatalism. God’s eternal word retrieves what we have relinquished. It revives our rejoicing.
Do you have a plan for reading the Bible? Is your intake of His word greater than your output of ministry?