One of my biggest struggles in life is learning to say no to ministry opportunities that are good, but not for me. When there is so much burning in you that God has spoken to your heart, it’s challenging not to take every opportunity that involves sharing it with others. You burn eagerly to light a flame inside of someone else, but in the midst of moving from one thing to another too quickly, you burn out yourself.
Often I find myself whispering to my own heart, Saying “No.” doesn’t make you a failure.
Why is it that I equate saying “No” with not being good enough or strong enough to handle it all?
When I reach the point of physically being unable to preform the tasks I’ve committed myself to, I feel like I’m letting other people down instead of just accepting the fact that I can’t do it all.
The other day I read two stories in Moses’ life along these same lines that utterly convicted me.
- The first is found in Exodus 17:8-13.
In these verses, Israel is at war. In the midst of this war, when Moses held out the staff of God with his hand, Israel would defeat the enemy. But as soon as he became tired and let the staff down, the enemy would begin to win. Verses 12 and 13 say,
“When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”
We need people who will hold up our hands when we can’t hold them up ourselves.
We need the strength of others when we’re tired.
We need friends because we’re human.
We’re weaker by ourselves. We’re less effective by ourselves.
Let’s just come to terms with the fact that we can’t do it all and partner with others to do as much as we can.
We’ll never win the battle alone.
Moses needed support to walk out the calling God had placed on his life. We see this again in the next piece of scripture.
- The second is found in Exodus 18:13-26.
In a nutshell, Moses’ father-in-law sees all that Moses is doing for the people, literally working from sun up to sun down, and he asks him why he’s doing it. Moses explains that the people need his help, and he is serving them. To which his father-in-law ever so honestly replies,
“What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.” (Ex. 18:17-18)
He then instructs him to find men who genuinely have a heart for the Lord, place them in leadership, and delegate the tasks so that it will, “…make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.” (Ex. 18:22)
This is wise advice. See, Moses was called to be a leader, but he was really just a normal guy. A normal guy who needed the help of others to do the will of God.
Don’t buy into the lie that we should be able to handle it. That is pride, friend. And what really ends up happening is we aren’t effective at anything.
Pray for God to send you trusted friends or to reveal who those people may already be in your life. Your sanity and the quality of your service to the Lord depends on it!