Monday, April 3, 2017

When the Spirit Grows Weak

We are all called to spread the good news of Christ's life, death and resurrection - to show, and by such teach, the incredible love and mercy of God.

For some, this calling is more than just to show it to neighbors. For some, this calling is to stand at the pulpit and teach to multitudes, led by the Holy Spirit to teach and lead. For some, it is to lead Bible Study or Sunday School, also led by the Holy Spirit to teach and lead others. For some, it is to write about this good news to unknown multitudes.

Regardless of what your calling is, you may find this to be spiritually uplifting at times. But, especially for those teaching and leading others, this can often be a very weakening call.

Satan likes to attack anyone who is teaching of God's greatness, and especially those of whom he is afraid is doing good at this teaching. So he attacks, usually by using others. These others undermine God's servant. The seek to wreak discord within the church. They criticize these servants. They spread rumors and lies. They do whatever possible to crush the spirit of the servant so the person will stop teaching.

It's no wonder there is such a high burn out rate for pastors and preachers and teachers. How can the spirit not grow weak when faced with enemies from every side? When faced with people - perhaps unintentionally or unknowingly - doing Satan's work?

We see this in many examples throughout Scripture - prophets, teachers, disciples, even Jesus himself - being knocked down by people who just want to shut them up. They're told they're wrong. They're told they have to right to be teaching. Several of the Psalms have this theme - being attacked by enemies and, because of such, the author's spirit weakening and growing faint.

Many of us allow this weakened spirit to get the better of us, slipping from those positions of teaching and leading.

Today's Lenten sacrifice:

Stop letting that weakened spirit silence you. 

"Take me out of the net that they have secretly set for me, for you are my tower of strength. Into your hands I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth." (Psalm 31:4-5)

Pray that Psalm. Pray a multitude of the Psalms. Simply repeat with conviction to God "Into your hands I commend my spirit!"

Let God take control. Realize that God is in control. Don't let Satan cause a weakened spirit that leads to your silence. God called you for a purpose, and he will strengthen your spirit.

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