Ever Felt Tired or Worn Out?


March, 2004

Dear Ministry Partner,

Do you ever feel tired or worn-out? Have you felt tired of "fighting"? Have you felt you had too many "battles" — whether they were financial, health, weight, relationships, your children, in your occupation (with supervisors, employees, or customers), or political issues in our nation?

One of the major tactics of the enemy of our souls is to try to wear you out. God gives us this insight in Daniel 7:25, where He informs us through prophecy that in the last days, one of Satan’s tactics is to "wear out the saints of the most High" (KJV). There are two aspects to this — there is a spiritual "wearing" on the saints, trying to deplete our spiritual and emotional reserves through burnout & disappointment, anger & resentment, and too much busy-ness so we don’t stay built up in God’s Word and prayer. The second aspect is an awareness by Satan that we believers live in a body of flesh that can get physically tired or worn out.

Other translations render this strategy of Satan as trying to "wear down" (NAS) or "oppress" (NIV) or "persecute" (NKJ) or "afflict" (RHM) the saints. Sometimes Satan tries to use a big, overwhelming issue against a person that just seems to never end. And no matter what you do or where you go, it is still there — like somebody tied a helium balloon to your pants’ back belt-loop and every time you turn around it is still there (this is typically an evil spirit assigned from Satan, much like the apostle Paul battled in every city — 2nd Cor.12:7). Other times, Satan tries to use many small things to continually aggravate and frustrate — like the proverbial sand or gravel in your shoe. Part of the strategy of Satan depends on your personality type, part of it hinges from your childhood and experiences in adult life. Satan is no gentleman, and his forces are not kind, understanding, or considerate of your misfortunes. The enemy is always watching for "an opportune time" (Luke 4:13) or a "place" (Eph. 4:27) where he can try to cause problems or try to wear you down.

What can you do? Fortunately, there are many things we can do! But unfortunately, many Christians don’t do many of them, or enough of them — they "faint", "give up", "cave in", or "despair" (Luke 18:1 in various translations). I have been tempted that way many times, but I continue to "encourage myself in the Lord" as David did when he discovered Ziklag burned with fire and his family carried away by the enemy. Perhaps you have felt members of your immediate or extended family have been "carried away by the enemy" — through divorce, childhood rebellion, drugs or alcohol, immorality, or disease?

The number one thing we must do is stay in the Word of God. Reading in the Word is literally food and energy to our spirit for the strength we need to resist temptation, stand up against the spiritual pressure of the enemy, and to have the spiritual stamina to pray. When time in the Bible drops off, so does a person’s prayer life. It can be reversed by getting back into the Word! This is so foundational, that many Christians pass over it as too "basic". But that would be like an athlete who decides eating is too basic! Actually, the most successful athletes are the ones who take their eating and nutrition seriously.

The number two thing to do is pray. This is also obvious, but essential. This is why I created a Bible Reading Guide and a Prayer Guide — to help believers stay in these essential tasks. We never "graduate" from these in this life. I could elaborate, but I have a 6 tape teaching series of techniques in prayer. People who want to be "victorious" will be interested, people who don’t mind being "casualties of war" will not be interested. I cannot force people to win in life. I cannot make a horse drink, I can only lead him or her to water.

As implied, another key is perseverance. Satan literally cannot wear you out — he can only try to make you think you will be worn out so you give up! Even though we only have a flesh & blood body, the reason Satan is prevented from wearing us out is God! The Word says "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it ("bear it", "stand up under it", "hold out", "come through it victoriously"1st Cor. 10:13 various translations). Certainly, with a body of flesh, it is to our advantage to get enough sleep, not do things that disturb our peace & tranquility, and eat right — so we don’t tilt the advantage to Satan. But we can persevere. Someone once said that 90% of winning is just showing up over and over again. There is a lot of truth to that. You can usually count on the devil’s side to be available, so if you give up and forfeit the game — the enemy wins by default!

Don’t be AWOL — that was the mighty King David’s mistake with Bathsheba. "Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants.... But David stayed at Jerusalem." (2nd Sam. 11:1) Who knows how many battles David had fought up to that point in his life? He probably thought, "I am tired. I’m getting older. I have fought plenty of battles. Let somebody else go out and fight the battle." As a contrast, consider the scriptural example of Caleb at age 40, and how he and Joshua said "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it" when nobody else wanted to fight (Num. 13:30). Then after taking the promised land, Caleb was still ready to fight at age 85! He personally wanted the hill country of the Anakim, even though he acknowledged that the city was "great and fortified" (Joshua 14:10-15). He conquered it, renamed it Hebron, and it later became King David’s first place of royal residence.

For the Christian, we don’t strap on a sword or get a gun for our spiritual warfare. We use our spiritual weapons. I have two different 12 tape sets on spiritual warfare, so I will not take the space here to elaborate. But I will mention I have a painting of Jesus "calming the storm" over my fireplace mantle as a reminder of the need to always take authority over the storms of life (Luke 8:23-25). The disciples thought they were going to die, and they knew storms on that lake! But Jesus rebuked the storm — like we should — and then said to his disciples, "Where is your faith?" One of the hardest things for disciples to grasp is that God has delegated spiritual authority to us, and it can be a life or death matter for us to use it. This is directly opposed by the "sovereignty of God" teaching that is so popular, and we need to "rightly divide the Word" so that we are not talked out of using our authority.

One last powerful tool God has made available that I must mention is worship. Deliberate praise to God can cause tremendous spiritual break-through (2nd Chron. 20:20-22). Too many Christians feel inhibited or afraid. I can assure you it is not God inhibiting Christians from raising their hands and worshiping Him! He created us for that purpose, and we will engage in that for eternity. Do you think He does not want us to express our adoration and gratitude to Him? In His graciousness, God has even caused those acts of worship to be a benefit to us — to defeat the works of Satan against us! I even play CD’s of worship 24 hours a day in my home at a very low volume to cause my house to have a spiritual atmosphere. And anointed worship you can switch on anytime is one of the only "artificial stimulants" that is actually good for you!

As you go to God, His ways, and His Word, you can rise up over the problems and "lay aside every weight...which doth so easily beset us" (Heb 12:1). You can overcome, and even learn to enjoy the "contest" with every victory as points for "God’s side". And Isaiah 40:31 says, "Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Living in God’s Strength,

Dale & Judi Leander


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