Updated: May 12
Are you truly unplugging and getting recharged?
The devil waited until the very end of Jesus' 40 day stay in the open wilderness (that also included a food fast of the same length) before trying to tempt Jesus. Why? Because all humans grow more and more susceptible to the devil's lies as they get worn down and worn out.
But do we in ministry truly rest? Do we truly unplug for a day or two each week?
Weekly rest can be hard to do when you are trying to pastor your community, your church, and your family during all of the other days of the week. Everywhere you go, those people are there... needing ministry regardless of whether they realize their need for it or not.
Jesus knew this struggle. We marvel at the miracle of feeding of the 5,000, but often forget that right before that miracle took place, Jesus had been looking for a quiet place to rest with His disciples. He didn't turn the ministry opportunity down (I don't think He ever turned a ministry opportunity down), but He also knew that He needed a break once it was done. We have all been there in ministry. But what do we do at that moment?
Jesus sent everyone away.
In fact, the miracle of walking on the water took place right after the feeding of the 5,000, in part because Jesus had to get away from even His disciples after being denied the expected rest with them that day.
Pastor, you need to turn off your email notifications, turn off your ministry social media accounts, and maybe even turn off your cell phone. Empower your other leaders to handle issues when you are away each week. Connect with your family, and at times - get away with just you and the Lord.
If you can't accomplish these things each week, that is a tell tale sign that your ministry is running you.