Jesus was traveling through many cities and villages, meeting people, teaching them about the kingdom of God, and healing their diseases. There were so many people! And so many needs. When Jesus looked at them, He saw that they were very weary and overwhelmed. To Him, it seemed that they were scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.
As His disciple Matthew records the scene, we read that Jesus was moved with compassion. It was no mere emotion; this godly compassion for the people motivated Jesus to act and speak. He was moved. (See Matthew 9).
What moves you? What motivates you, animates you, causes you to get up in the morning and stay up late at night?
Here’s another question: have you ever faced burn-out? Have you ever come to a place where it seemed nothing could ever move you again? I know I have at times, and it’s not a good feeling. It seems to me that a lot of folks, particularly in America, are battling that today.
God is dealing with our motives, not to condemn us, but to breathe His Spirit upon us and lead us in the way that leads to life, rather than death; life for us and for those around us. He is still actively seeking to work in and through us to do a “new thing”. I love the old song, “God’s Not Finished With Me Yet!”
Just when we think we’ve got life “all figured out”, we discover a curve in the road and something new up around the bend. In those moments, we are reminded once more that our dependence is not upon ourselves or others, but upon God’s presence, wisdom, and faithfulness. We are forced to re-examine our motives and our methods…and to seek God with new fervor and focus. These times not only re-shape us, but they position us to be re-filled with God’s Spirit and power … the power that will move us onward into His glorious purpose.
Sometimes, we feel stuck or alone or powerless. This usually hits us right at the time when we need to be most engaged. Our spiritual enemy knows that, and he is crafty and malicious in trying to stop us in our tracks. The only antidote to burn-out and breakdown is the washing and refreshing that comes from the presence of God. As Paul told the folks in Athens, “in Him we live and move and have our being.”
Scripture Reference: Matthew 9
STEPHEN SIMPSON is the Editor of One-to-One Magazine and the Director of CSM Publishing. In addition to publishing ministry, Stephen has served in leadership for churches and ministries in Costa Rica, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Michigan, as well as being the Senior Pastor of Covenant Church of Mobile (2004-2013). He continues to travel in ministry across North America and in other nations.