from JO’s sermon tonight:
as we go through life, one challenge we all have to face is with weariness; it’s easy to get tired. weary means, to lose your sense of pleasure, to not feel the enjoyment that you should. you can be raising great children, but because you’re weary, you’re not enjoying them. you can have the job of your dreams, you worked hard to get it, but now weariness has set in, and you’re not passionate about it anymore. sometimes, because the battle is taking longer than we thought, we become weary. when the difficulty is lasting longer than expected, we’re working hard but not seeing increase, we’re believing for the baby, but year after year goes by and we’re still not pregnant, weariness will come. if the enemy can’t take you out all at once, his next strategy is to try to wear you down.
many people are suffering from battle fatigue; they’ve been standing a long time, trying to break the addiction, believing for the promotion, praying for that family member, but it hasn’t happened yet. they never dreamed that they’d still be single, dealing with the illness, trying to get the loan; now, they’re tired. Paul said in Galatians:
Galatians 6:9 (RSV)
9 And let us not grow weary in well-doing
God knew that weariness would come, or He wouldn’t tell us to not get weary. He said, “don’t be weary in well-doing”; that means, you’re doing the right thing, but not seeing right results, it doesn’t seem like it’s making a difference. let me encourage you; your time is coming. your due season is on the way. don’t let time talk you out of it, discouragement cause you to give up, negative thoughts convince you to settle where you are.
your mind will give you good excuses; “I’m too tired to fight this addiction, believe for my marriage, stretch to the next level; I’ve been doing it so long.” if you dwell on those thoughts, you will allow weariness in; you’ll become more tired, weary, discouraged, negative. weariness cannot automatically come; you have to open the door. when thoughts tell you, “it’s never going to work out, it’s been too long,” just say, “no thanks, I know my time is coming. God is still on the throne, I am strong in the Lord, I’ve been armed with strength for this battle.” the scripture tells us:
Isaiah 27:5 (KJV)
5 let him take hold of my strength
this is what David did. he was doing the right thing, but the wrong thing kept happening to him year after year. his family looked down on him, and treated him like he was second-class. he could’ve been sour, upset; instead, he kept taking care of his father’s sheep, doing it with a good attitude, being a person of excellence. how could he keep standing strong? all through the day, I can hear David under his breath, reminding himself, “don’t get weary in well-doing.” when he was being good to King Saul:
1 Samuel 16:23 (NLT)
23 And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away.
1 Samuel 18:10-11 (NLT)
10 … David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.
1 Samuel 19:9-10 (NLT)
9 … As David played his harp, 10 Saul hurled his spear at David. But David dodged out of the way, and leaving the spear stuck in the wall, he fled and escaped into the night.
David could’ve been frustrated, and thought, “God, what’s the use? I’m doing the right thing, and this man tries to take my life.” instead, he kept telling himself, “David, don’t get weary in well-doing.” he understood this principle; when you give in to weariness, you lose your strength. when you start thinking, “it’s not fair, it’s been so long, it’s never going to work out,” the energy you need to move into your destiny is being drained out.
I’m not asking you to never feel weariness, it will come, I’m asking you to not allow it in. when you’re weary, you won’t have the passion, determination, courage to fight the good fight of faith. don’t let battle fatigue keep you from your victory. don’t let weariness stop your dream from coming to pass. you are closer than you think. when it’s the most difficult, you face the greatest temptation to settle, that means the victory is near; the promotion, healing, breakthrough is about to show up.
the prophet Samuel had anointed David to be the next king when he was a teenager; 13 years had gone by, but there was no sign of it happening. one day, David and 600 of his men:
1 Samuel 30:1-3 (NIV)
1 David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way. 3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive.
it was the worst defeat of David’s life, his darkest hour. the scripture says:
1 Samuel 30:4 (NIV)
4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep.
David was depressed, discouraged. I’m sure he was tempted to think, “God, this is the final straw. I’ve been doing the right thing for years, I can’t take it anymore; I’m done.” he could have given up, and that would’ve been the end of his story; he never would’ve taken the throne. but when David was tired, when he felt like throwing in the towel, he did something that we all must do; he dug his heels in, and said, “I’ve come too far to stop now.” the scripture says:
1 Samuel 30:6 (MEV)
6 … David encouraged himself in the Lord his God
he made this decision, “I’m not allowing this weariness in; I’m going to stir my faith back up.” while the other men were weeping, discouraged, complaining, I can hear David saying, “I’m strong in the Lord, anointed, well-able. the forces that are for me are greater than the forces that are against me.” you can talk yourself into defeat or victory, weakness or strength. when you speak to yourself the right way, courage, determination, vision come.
every time you say, “this is too hard,” strength is leaving. “I can’t do this anymore”; you’re getting weaker. “I’m so disappointed, I can’t believe this happened”; you’re inviting discouragement. when you say, “I am well able,” you’re inviting strength. “I can do all things through Christ”; you’re inviting favor. you may feel tired, but don’t verbalize it; don’t give life to it by speaking it out. the scripture says:
Joel 3:10 (KJV)
10 … let the weak say, I am strong
it doesn’t say, “let the weak talk about the weakness, let the sick talk about the sickness, let the disappointed talk about the bad break.” no, turn it around; “yes, this is tough, but I’m strong in the Lord. I know that God is fighting my battles. He always causes me to triumph.” that’s what it means to take hold of His strength. Isaiah put it this way:
Isaiah 40:31 (TLB)
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
“wait on the Lord” doesn’t mean to sit back, be passive, idle, “ok, God, I’m tired, worn-out, do Your thing, renew my strength.” that word “wait” in one translation says:
Isaiah 40:31 (AMP)
31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
waiting is supposed to be active; “Lord, thank You that You’re turning this situation around, that You’re bigger than this cancer, stronger than these opponents. thank You for bringing my dreams to pass.” you won’t soar with the eagles if you’re negative in your thinking. you won’t run and not be weary if you’re focused on your problems, and how impossible it is.
what causes your strength to be renewed is when you live with this expectancy; you have this hope that God is working in your life, this knowing that He’s in control, that He can open doors that no man can shut, that He will get you to where you’re supposed to be. when you get your mind going in the right direction, God will give you rest; you don’t have to go through life weary. nothing that’s happened to you has stopped God’s plan for your life. like with David, it may be taking a long time, you may have had some setbacks, but God is still on the throne; He knows how to get you to your destiny.
David not only stirred himself up, he got his men stirred back up. they went and attacked the enemy:
1 Samuel 30:18 (NIV)
18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken
3 days later, King Saul was killed in a battle:
2 Samuel 1:2-4 (NIV)
2 On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s camp… 4 “What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.”… Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”
and soon after that:
2 Samuel 2:4 (NIV)
4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.
that was some 13 years after he’d been anointed to be the next king. David was closest to seeing the promise come to pass when he faced his greatest challenge. when it seems like everything is coming against you, it’s taking a long time, now you have this new problem: the medical report wasn’t good, business went down, the situation at work intensified. stay encouraged; that’s a sign that the victory is near, things are about to turn around, the breakthrough is on the way. don’t get weary in well-doing. it may not happen overnight.
you have to do like David, and be in it for the long haul. those 13 years, David waited for the promise; he had to deal with battle fatigue, thoughts told him, “David, it’s never going to happen. you wouldn’t have these challenges if you were going to take the throne.” weariness came knocking at his door again and again. the reason he saw the promised fulfilled was not because he never felt weary, not because he was superhuman, was never tempted to be tired and discouraged; it was because he didn’t allow the weariness in.
when you’ve been in a battle a long time, you have to especially be on guard; it’s easy to get discouraged, and think, “I’m tired of standing strong, fighting this illness, believing for my dreams.” when you feel that weariness, instead of giving in, learn to look up, and say, “God, I’m asking You to renew my strength.” when you do, you’ll feel strength coming to you. God will breathe new life back into your spirit.
you may be tired today; you’ve been dealing with a challenge in your health, a relationship, finances, for years. you used to believe that you would overcome, but now you’re worn down, you don’t think it’s ever going to happen. let me encourage you; what God promised, He’s still going to bring to pass. you may have given up, but God has not given up; He has your healing, breakthrough, promotion, the right people. now do your part; get your passion back. start taking hold of His strength. don’t allow that weariness in.
the enemy wouldn’t be fighting you so hard unless he knew that you were close to your victory. he couldn’t take you out, so he’s trying to wear you out, get you weary, discouraged; don’t fall into that trap. all through the day, “Lord, thank You that You’re renewing my strength, that I will soar like the eagles, that I am strong in the Lord.” that battle may be taking a long time, but I believe right now, strength, hope is coming into you. God is filling you with fresh courage, determination, vision. you will run and not be weary, walk and not faint. that’s what happens when you don’t give in to battle fatigue.
you may be in a situation that looks impossible. you could easily let that overwhelm you, but God has given you strength for that battle. quit telling yourself that it’s too much, and start taking hold of His strength. that cancer, legal problem, situation in your finances, is no match for you; it may look like it’s permanent, but it’s just a matter of time before God turns it around. don’t let weariness talk you out of it. it may be taking a long time, but, like with David, the promise is on the way. if you’ll stay in faith, God will not only renew your strength, He’ll renew your health, marriage, business. He’ll make a way where you don’t see a way.
in 1 Kings 18, the prophet Elijah had just called down fire from heaven and defeated 450 of the false prophets that worshipped the god Baal. they were all killed; it was a great victory in Elijah’s life. but there was a lady that lived there by the name of Jezebel:
1 Kings 19:1-4 (NLT)
19 When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. 2 So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”
3 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. 4 Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life
here’s this incredible man of faith, one of the great heroes in the Bible, he’s seen God bring a child back to life, a few days earlier he outran a chariot, he just called down fire from heaven, a great miracle. now, because one angry woman is after him, he doesn’t want to live. he’s laying under this tree, depressed, discouraged, doesn’t want to go on:
1 Kings 19:5 (NLT)
5 … But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him
the angel woke him up. usually, when an angel shows up in the scripture, it’s to do something supernatural: open prison doors, close the mouths of hungry lions. but this angel did something interesting; he said:
1 Kings 19:5-8 (NLT)
5 … told him, “Get up and eat!” 6 He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” 8 So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God.
his whole attitude had changed. why was Elijah discouraged, depressed, not wanting to go on? because he was tired, worn-out, hungry. he didn’t need a miracle; he just needed some sleep.
sometimes, when we’re weary, it’s not a spiritual problem, it’s a physical problem. he had just run 24 hours to try to get away from Jezebel; he just needed some rest, a good meal. in other words, the angel didn’t wake him up and say, “be free from your weariness, healed from this depression,” he said:
1 Kings 19:5 (NLT)
5 … told him, “Get up and eat!”
he was saying, “Elijah, take care of yourself; get back in balance.” too often, we’re fighting battles in our mind, no passion, discouraged, not because of the enemy, but because of how we’re taking care of ourselves. you are a 3-part being; physical, spiritual, and emotional. you have to take care of all 3 parts. you can pray 24 hours a day, but you won’t feel well physically; your body needs to be cared for. you can go to the gym, workout 5 hours a day, 7 days a week, but if you’re not taking time for your spiritual and emotional side, you’re not going to be your best.
living balanced is the key. you can’t stay up all night and not get the proper sleep and expect to feel good the next day. you won’t have the passion you need, the creativity, you won’t make good decisions. some people are praying for a miracle; they’re discouraged, they have no energy. but if the angel showed up, he would say the same thing that he said to Elijah; “get some sleep, start eating better, take care of your physical body.” you can’t drink 25 cups of coffee a day, eat sugar all the time, and expect to feel good. I’ve read where one of the causes of depression is simply not getting enough sleep. What am I saying? pay attention to practical things. you can’t go against natural laws and expect God to bless you. your body is the house you live in; the scripture calls it:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
19 … your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God
I’m asking you to take care of your temple. don’t put junk in your temple. your spirit, the real you, cannot live on this earth without your body. we need you here a long time; don’t have your life cut short because you’re not taking care of what God has given you. it’s easy to work all the time, get up early, stay up late, always thinking about the business, what we have to do next, but being a workaholic is doing yourself a disservice; your mind needs a break. your body needs to relax. that’s why in the Old Testament, God required them to take a Sabbath. they didn’t have a choice; one day a week, they couldn’t even pick up a stick, they had to rest. even when God created the universe, on the 7th day, He rested. He didn’t have to, He’s God; He was showing us this principle. David said:
Psalm 23:2 (NKJV)
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters
that wording is interesting; “He makes me lie down.” this implies, if you don’t take care of yourself, if you live overworked, run down, stressed out, you don’t get enough sleep, eat right, eventually that’s going to catch up to you. if you don’t take time to lie down in green pastures, God will make you lie down in green pastures; you’ll probably come to a point where you have to rest. what I’m saying is; don’t wear yourself out to where God has to make you slow down.
too many times, we end up unhealthy, we can’t do what we used to do, not because of the enemy, but because we are not taking care of our temple. you need recreation, to laugh, to have fun; laughter is like a medicine. it releases stress, causes you to have more energy. you will be your most productive, effective, not when you’re working all the time, but when you’re balanced physically, spiritually, and emotionally. if you neglect one area, it will limit what you can accomplish.
a lot of people are good at taking care of the physical and emotional, but they don’t take care of the spiritual; there’s no connection to God. your life will be more rewarding, fulfilling, when you’re in a relationship with your Creator. God breathed his life into you, He knows what your purpose is, what you can accomplish. when you make Him a part of your life, you will go further than you can in just your own ability, talent. the scripture says:
Proverbs 3:6 (TLB)
6 In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
His favor on your life will take you where your talent could not take you. if you’re going to reach your highest potential, make your spiritual life a priority. when you get up each morning, take time to thank God for the day; don’t just rush out of the house all stressed out, start the day off with a grateful attitude. all through the day, meditate on His promises, keep your mind filled with thoughts of hope, faith, victory.
friends, you don’t have to go through life weary. maybe today, you need to make an adjustment. a practical thing, like a Elijah, taking better care of yourself. or maybe an adjustment in your attitude, in how you’re seeing things; you’ve been dealing with a challenge for a long time, now you’re suffering from battle fatigue, you don’t think you can go on. this is a new day; God is breathing new life back into your spirit. dare to take hold of His strength. get your passion back. when you feel weak, start declaring, “I am strong.” if you’ll do this, you will run and not be weary, God is renewing your strength so you can soar like the eagles. health, courage, freshness is coming.