Burn Bright, Not Out!
Duane Vander Klok
Are you as excited as I am?
I believe we are living in the most exciting time in history! God is moving by His Spirit across the earth and we are most certainly growing closer to the return of Jesus Christ!
I believe it’s time to do more than we’ve ever done before to further the gospel and lead people to the Lord!
We need to respond to Jesus’ urging to “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 NIV)
It’s time for you and me to be active in the local church. It’s time to sow seed looking ahead to a bountiful harvest of changed lives. It’s time to do more than you ever thought you could!
But if you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking, “How can I possibly do more than I’m already doing? Perhaps you are even at the point of burn out.
Burn out can occur for a number of reasons. Maybe you’re over-worked, tired, fatigued, disappointed or depressed, resulting in a general sense of emptiness. Maybe you’ve felt like Solomon felt when he wrote, “In my opinion, nothing is worthwhile; everything is futile. For what does a man get for all his hard work? Generations come and go, but it makes no difference.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-4 Living Bible)
If you feel that way – which is exactly what the devil hopes – then the thought of doing more for the Lord certainly isn’t very appealing.
Fortunately, Solomon came up with some steps to prevent burnout. I would like to share them with you so that you can begin to burn even brighter rather than burning out.
1) Maintain balance in your lifestyle
In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon pointed out that there truly is a time for everything. He writes that there is, “a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” (v.2-4, NIV)
You see, life is composed of opposites, and to live successfully in the balanced world God created, one must maintain a balanced lifestyle. You will enjoy life and be the most productive when there is a balance between work and play, being and doing, natural and spiritual, speaking and listening, giving and receiving and so on.
Balanced people are able to outlast everyone else, but if you aren’t balanced, you probably won’t be able to shine very bright.
2) Develop Strong Personal Relationships
Lack of emotional support can cause you to burn out. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NKJV) tells us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits who isolate themselves from other believers. Instead, it says we are put together, joined together, built together, members together, heirs together, fitted together, and held together and will be caught up together.
God doesn’t want you to be on your own. He wants you to have strong personal relationships that build you up. He wants you to give and receive love, acceptance, affirmation and help. If you try to go it alone, you will burn out and won’t shine as God intends.
3) Take Time to Enjoy the Present
Burn out can come from always working and never enjoying, or it can come from always regretting and never enjoying.
Ecclesiastes 5:18 (NKJV) says, “It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor… for it is his heritage.” God wants you to receive satisfaction from what you do, but if you are worried about the past or focused only on the future, you will not enjoy much of anything. Remember that the scripture says, “The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” (NKJV) Enjoy each day as a gift from God.
4) Stop Playing God
There are so many things in life we cannot control, but God can! We need to recognize our limitations and draw our strength from God’s Word. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus reminded us that, “…man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (NKJV) It’s like inhaling a bit of the life of God!
Then, we need to exhale all our concerns by praying. Philippians 4:6 (NKJV) instructs us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” God is big enough to take care of everything that concerns you.
My prayer for you is that you will be one who does more for the Kingdom of God than you ever thought and that you will burn bright, not out!