A Simple Treatment for Ministry Weariness

After we’ve spent ourselves for the Lord and for others, we find ourselves…well, spent.

The prophet Elijah labored under great duress. He declared to King Ahab that there would be three years of drought in ancient Israel; that’s not exactly a formula to win friends and influence people (1 Kings 17). Elijah lived as a wanted man; Ahab searched everywhere for him. The Lord spared his life in a cave by the brook Cherith, where ravens fed him. Still, imagine the daily pressure of being discovered. He drank of that brook until in dried up. He suffered, along with the rest of the nation.

 

What do you do with moments of battle weariness in life and in ministry? The moment may come after great triumph, inglorious defeat, or during an extended sequence of months of working though the daily grind.

After we’ve spent ourselves for the Lord and for others, we find ourselves…well, spent. Shot. Exhausted. Ready to quit. Ready for heaven.

One of my seminary professors, Dr. Ed Robson, pointed us to Elijah for a simple, initial answer on such days.

The prophet Elijah labored under great duress. He declared to King Ahab that there would be three years of drought in ancient Israel; that’s not exactly a formula to win friends and influence people (1 Kings 17). Elijah lived as a wanted man; Ahab searched everywhere for him. The Lord spared his life in a cave by the brook Cherith, where ravens fed him. Still, imagine the daily pressure of being discovered. He drank of that brook until in dried up. He suffered, along with the rest of the nation.

Following Elijah’s ministry to the widow at Zerephath, God sent him to confront King Ahab as recounted in 1 Kings 18. That was three years after his initial prophecy of drought, and he was not a popular man. Queen Jezebel had destroyed the prophets of the Lord. Even faithful Obadiah, who had hid one hundred prophets, was frightened to be sent to Ahab for fear he would be killed for his association with Elijah.

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