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March 21, 2011

"I AM" is Only Reserved For God

(Answer for Burnout in the Ministry)

Studies have indicated that many preachers, and people working in the ministry suffer from burnout resulting to depression, despair, and some eventually walking away from the ministry of God. The complaint is because they are too busy, and they worked themselves into depression. This is not necessarily true in many of the cases. Ministers suffer from burnout, not because they are working so hard, but because they are working in human strength and ignoring the spiritual power of the Holy Spirit. Man consciously uses four levels of energy, three inside the physical body, and the fourth from the Holy Spirit within. In the physical body are physical, emotional and chemical (can be transformed to electric energy) energies while the Holy Spirit houses the spiritual energy of God. The spiritual energy of God is used for most part for ministry because it accompanies the spiritual mantle given to anybody called to serve in the ministry. This Holy Spirit can be placed in control of the rest of the energy sources inside human body. Inside the spiritual mantle is the anointing which contains, spiritual gifts and energy including all that are needed to serve whatever ministry God has called a servant. Unfortunately, many people in the ministry suffering from burnout only acknowledge the strength in their physical bodies and ignored the most important one inside the mantle given to them by God through the Holy Spirit.

The reason for the burnout is very simple. When a messenger decides only to work with his physical strength, God will allow him to go on that journey as he pleases. God steps out of the way. When God steps out of the way, the anointing goes out the window. On such journey, the messenger will run out of both physical and emotional energies. He continues on his journey and running on empty which do not last for a long time. Once he runs out of energy he starts to suffer from burnout associated with depression, and sometimes despair. Many powerful ministers during this time will crash and walk away from the ministry. There are some ministers who are walking in their anointing and doing wonders, and bringing fires of the Holy Spirit from Heaven. All of a sudden they too will crash. The primary reason is that they refuse to acknowledge God’s power working through them. The moment they stick out their chest and say, "I am the one doing this." Their anointing goes out the window, the devil steps in and builds a mansion next to them. Most of them do not realize this because they think they still have the anointing, as they drop down to human physical energy. At this moment, the devil starts to manipulate them. They become play toys for the devil. They become confused because they think they are still under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. They did not realize they have opened the door for the devil to come into their ministry. Consequently, the devil will lead them astray. Many of the scandals by great evangelists did not happen because they are bad people. Those scandals happen as a result of the deception of the devil leading them astray. Once the anointing goes out of the window, the preacher is only left with the human strength and desires. The devil loves to ride of human lustful desires.

The false notion is for people to think that all the celebrity preachers they hear on radio or see on the television are perfect people. Nothing can be farther from the truth. All of them have their challenges they deal with everyday. Some of them have problem bigger than an average person in the church. As long as they acknowledge God is the one leading the process of their journey, and as long as they stay in his will, he will walk them through their personal challenges just like anybody in the ministry. Trouble comes when people refuse to give glory to God and stick out their chests as if they are the ones running the show. Then God will show them who he is, and who is directing the process. God steps out of the way as a result and let you make a fool of yourself. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon found out in a hard way. The same chest that he stuck out before God was the same chest he used to crawl on the belly for seven years in the wilderness (Daniel 4:28-37). When the children of Israel decided to get angry with God’s plan, the journey that could have taken them days ended up taking the forty years in the wilderness. In the book of Acts, King Herod arrayed himself as a god. The angel from Heaven came down and slapped the daylight out of him. He was eaten by worms, and he died (Acts 12:21-23). God said, "No flesh shall glory before me" (I Corinthians 1:29). How dare you?

The solution to burnout of preachers is to accept and acknowledge the power of the Holy Spirit driving the process of a spiritual journey for God. God is "I am" not us! Once we acknowledge the power of God, is like a magic power that opens up the Gates of Heaven. Once we are running on the power of the Holy Spirit, from time to time, God will replenish that spiritual energy so we will not be tired. If we need rest God will arrange that rest for us. God’s word confirmed his desire and source of strength. "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount on with wings as eagle. They shall run and not weary. They shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). Psalm 121 said, "I will lift up my eyes onto the hills, from where cometh my help. My help comes from the Lord who made Heaven and earth." Even Jesus echoed strength from God when he said, "Abide in me and I in you ……. Without me, you can do nothing" (St. John 15:5). Psalm 23 said, "The Lord leads me besides the still water, he restores my soul." This is the more reason why Jesus said, "Deny yourself, take your cross and follow me" (St. Matthew 16:28). Jesus did not say, walk beside me or walk in front of me. Some preachers decided to use God to shine contrary to the will of God. They ended up suffering the consequences. God is supposed to use us to shine. He said this in his Word, "Let your light so shine before men that they see your good work and glorify your Father in Heaven" (St. Matthew 5:16). If you do not allow God to use you to shine, the devil will use you to shine! Pick your choice.

By Yinka Vidal,

author, Closer Walk With Jesus