Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Sherlock Holmes: There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.
Over time, many of us have come to believe that some of our assumptions are facts that we have put our faith in. We simply assume something to be right because it has always been our reality and therefore, it must be the right thing to do, say, or act out. We can end up walking right into a mess of hurt because of a particular assumption that turned out to be nothing more than a family or social tradition based on someone’s quirk, idiosyncrasy, or chosen silliness. It was just a belief that was pushed on individuals and society in general. Prov. 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.
Many of us have become steadfast in our religious assumptions rather than what God says is true. Someone might say at this point, “Well Norm, you are assuming there is a God and what He says is true.” Yes, my assumption can be deceptively disguised as a fact, putting me in a place of vulnerability. However, the love that God has sown in my heart has revealed to me that He is real, and besides, as the psalmist said, Psalm 14:1a The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. We have to revisit our assumptions once in a while, to find out whether or not they still have validity in life and within God’s word.
One of the hardships that ministers go through is when they have assumed their personal sacrifices that were made in helping other individuals will be appreciated by the ones being helped. This misguided assumption has caused disillusionment among those who have dedicated their lives in the service of the Lord. Many have forgotten that doing God’s work in one’s own strength is nearly impossible. Serving man on God’s behalf using one’s own strength will sap our energy and resolve very quickly. Serving God through the power of the Holy Spirit will give us strength as needed while moving forward in the will and call of God. Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
If you have found yourself in a state of feeling unappreciated, abused, undervalued, and taken advantage of, because you have put yourself out there to help with the needs of mankind, then you may have drawn your strength from the wrong source. Burnout among ministers is as great as burnout among nurses, first responders, and caregivers. This problem is growing fast and will continue to grow as long as these well-meaning people keep drawing on their own strength and ability to perform these essential services in our society.
If you have chosen this type of work with the expectation of being thanked and honoured, you may have to look for personal validation elsewhere. To assume that others will see value in who you are is not realistic. People only see what they want to see, but God sees all of us for who we truly are, including our eternal worth. God will validate our existence with His love. We have to rest in our Heavenly Father’s strength through Christ which is available to all who ask for it.
Jesus had to make Himself and His disciples take time away to replenish their strength. Mark 6:31 Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. One would assume that Jesus had a full supply of strength within Him to do all the good things He was doing. Yet, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to do what God the Father had asked of Him. Luke 4:1 Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. If Jesus needed to pray and find guidance from the Holy Spirit then what makes us think we can do it in our own strength?
The Lord admonishes us to take stock and revisit our assumptions by leading us to a place of green serenity and honest reflection. Psalm 23:2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. God’s hope is that while we are in His presence, we become aware that it is through His strength and ability that we can keep going in the purpose. call, and chosen field He has placed within our hearts to live in. Once our egos are out of the way and we accept the Lord’s helping grace, we can know and declare who and where our strength comes from. Psalm 121:2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Once we acknowledge that it is God’s strength and grace building and holding us up, there will be more power on the way. Saints, don’t assume you have it all together just because you are a Christian. We came into our relationship with God The Father through Christ by faith, and this has not changed and will not change throughout our lives. We will still have to come to the Lord by faith every day and every way, to live in the overabundant love that God has for us. Praise the Lord that the love of God is a fact we can totally put our faith in and lean into for the rest of our lives. Amen!
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