Friday, September 30, 2011

The Great Release Valve

For anyone with a highly developed work ethic, stress is seemingly inevitable.  Responsibility taken seriously can often pile on the pressure to the point that we don't know where to turn or what comes next.  As a pastor involved in Christian ministry and in spite of that fact that almost every week at least one person asks me what I do with all my time ('Don't you just work one day a week?), this stress factor is equally a reality.  Not more than the average person with high level responsibilities...just equal.

But I read a verse in my daily devotions last night that I want to call 'The Great Release Valve'. It's in Zechariah 4:6 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty.'  Now please understand - I am not using God's Words here as a copout, like I personally believe many do. They take these words and make them their excuse for not doing diligence, not putting forth their own human effort, not working at their best.  But those kind of people aren't looking for ways to give God glory necessarily, as much as they are looking for a way to do the minimum and put everything else on God.

But God uses people. And whether you're in Christian ministry or in the work place striving to do and be your best, here is the great release valve.  Once you've done all that you can do, God's word to you is 'now stand back and see what I can do'. The power of His Spirit at work in us is how we accomplish what we do - and we need to acknowledge it and hear the Word of the Lord. It's not by might nor by power that the end result is accomplished, it is by the power of the Spirit of God that it all comes together.  That doesn't mean our effort is unnecessary - it just means that when we have done all we can do, we need to acknowledge that the one part we can't do...is what get's accomplished by the power of the Spirit of God.

That is tremendously comforting to me in this particular season of my life as I manage the dynamic tension of getting a new church campus up and running and doing all that I can to pull that together and rally teams and take care of details and wonder who will ultimately show up while continuing to fulfill the other duties and responsibilities of my job.  The great release valve for me last night was being reminded that ultimately, it is by God's Spirit that any of us succeed.

So takeaway this. Whether you work in Christian ministry or not, it you are a follower of Christ and have His Spirit in you:
  • God equips and gifts us to do things that only we can do.
  • God calls us to always do and be our very best.
  • When we operate at this high level, stress is inevitable.
  • At the end of the day - the great release valve for all of that pressure, is the power of God's Spirit at work in us and accomplishing through us.
Be blessed.

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