I (Jeff) can swing back and forth between striving “for God” on one side and running from work entirely on the other. I act like I’m really running with God, but I’m doing it under my own power instead of His, and doing what I think should be done instead of letting God take the lead. When that happens I may get a lot done, but who knows if it is even what the Lord wants to accomplish. I certainly stay busy, but it is only a matter of time before I feel burnt out.
When burnout sets in, I stop wanting work for Him at all. I crave “me time” and would rather be distracted by entertainment, especially the kind that doesn’t require much energy.
This isn’t the abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10, but it isn’t because God is holding out on me. I’m the one spending so much energy without plugging into the source. Rather than focusing so hard on results, I need to abide in (make my home with) Christ.
The model to the right came from a pastor and ministry partner who has learned this first-hand. Our only part in the cycle is seeking and responding to intimacy with God. I know that means spending time in God’s word, but one of the biggest dangers there for me is familiarity. Another friend encouraged me there, saying that God speaks to us through His living word even in passages that don’t directly relate to what you’re going through. I’m sitting at His feet more, praying deeper, and waiting on the Lord. His plan is better than mine, and a whole lot more livable!