I recall struggling through a season of ministry some years ago when everything seemed to be falling off the shelves.

My family was in disarray, two board members were disillusioned, we had planted another church and many of our leaders left, and now we were low on funds. I prayed for God’s power and kept motoring forward. But things began to go from bad to worse. Staff problems increased and my health began to suffer. Knowing that the ministry had to continue, I shook it off and regrouped. A few weeks passed, and then I could bear it no more. Ready to pack it in and call it quits, I did one last thing.

I complained to God. “God! Why are you letting these things happen? Why are you letting me be so weak? I thought you were strong?”

I remember hearing his reply to me: “The reason I cannot be strong for you is that you refuse to be weak.”

Mark my words, Superman: there will be times in your life and ministry when, as David learned running from his enemies, the best thing to do is simply to cry out to God. Don’t blame anyone else. Don’t play the victim card. Don’t make excuses. Don’t “suck it up”and try harder. Just cry out.

That may be exactly what God wants from you —a cry for help, a dependent plea. David, in his diary entry in Psalm 120: 1, penned these words: “In my trouble I cried to the LORD, and He answered me.”David was a powerful king of great influence, yet he cried out to God. Jesus himself modeled this posture, as we learn in the letter to the Hebrews.

Read these poignant words from Hebrews 5: 7: “In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.”Here’s a question: When was the last time you prayed with “loud crying and tears”? If it has been recently, know that you are in good company with men like David and Jesus. But also know that you’re beginning to understand one of the most important keys to successful long-term ministry —that you’re only as powerful as your dependence on God’s strength. As I’ve been sifted, I’ve learned a lesson I call “the truth of passive power”—that God’s power does not originate in weak, frail me. It passes through me, but it does not come from me. I used to pray, “I’m gonna live for God!”Now I pray, “God, come live through me.”I used to pray, “I’m gonna work for God!”Now I pray, “God, come do your work through me.”I used to pray, “I’m gonna serve God!”Now I pray God, please come and serve through me

The above post is adapted from Pastor Wayne’s book, Sifted.

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