Today, putting yourself first is seen as selfish in most settings. Christians are always on the go, trying to serve or help whenever and wherever we can. Unfortunately, always going and always helping, often leads to burnout. The reason for our burnout is usually misplaced priorities in serving and lack of self-care.
It seems many in the Church today have the concept of serving backwards. Christians spend more time trying to serve our fellow man than we do at the feet of our Lord serving Him. While the gospel teaches us to love and help each other, long before we can accomplish those tasks, it instructs us to seek Him first.
Jesus said, “If any man thirsts, let him come unto me and drink.” You must satisfy your own thirst first before you can successfully serve others. When you are thirsty, you must drink for yourself. No one can drink for you. Your pastor drinking water won’t quench your thirst. Neither will your neighbor’s cup refresh you. Instead, we must each seek Jesus to be filled, and fulfilling is a continual process.
Are you feeling weary? Come to the scriptures to drink of the Lord. Jesus did not say for you to come unto the Word of God to draw out for others. He said come and drink for yourself. Satisfy your own thirsts through the knowledge and revelation of Jesus as your priority. When you are filled with Him, then and only then, out of your belly will flow rivers of living water for others.
We were never meant to love, help, or serve others in our own strength. It is from our time spent with Jesus we find strength, love, and wisdom to know how, when, and where to serve. This helps us avoid burnout.
Martha of Bethany spent a lot of time working for Jesus, or so she thought. In the end, her work was a bitter burden to her. This burden caused her to be resentful of her sister, Mary, who continually sat at the feet of Jesus drinking in the Word. Martha’s efforts to serve from her own strength actually ended up draining her love and making her feel overwhelmed. She also missed the real chance to serve the Lord, which Mary through time with Jesus by the Holy Spirit saw and fulfilled.
It was Mary who poured the anointing oil on Jesus to prepare for His burial, not Martha. Mary sensed the impending death of the Lord by her time spent serving Him: by sitting at His feet and listening. Martha thought Mary wasn't "working" for the Lord, but she was. Mary was absorbing the Word and Spirit by listening. Then when she moved to serve, even the disciples were confused by her actions. But the Lord Jesus was served and honored. In turned Jesus honored her by assuring her actions would be remembered. Works of faith must move by the Word and are empowered by the Spirit of God, not by the flesh or strength of the arm of man.
Be selfish with your time with the Lord. Spend time beholding Jesus. He will empower you with wisdom, love, strength and even supernatural power to go and perform whatever He has called you to do.
“I say, he that believeth on me,
the works that I do AND MORE
he will do also, because I go to my Father.” John 14:12
If this lesson has challenged you to be selfish with your time with God,
or if you have an encouraging true story relevant to this topic,
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An Alaskan Author, Prospector, Homeschool Teacher, Ordained Minister,
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