Encourage Yourself in the Lord
You and I have got to make our spiritual life a priority. It has got to be a priority, or else it's going to end up coming back and hurting you and me.
If you and I have been connected for several years, you know that I talk about this story a lot. In 1 Samuel, David returns back with his men. They've been running from King Saul. Remember mad King Saul that was chasing David, trying to kill him? Anyway, David and his men were out; when they returned home, they found that their homes had been burnt. They found that all of their wives and their children had been carried away. Scripture says that David and his men began to weep bitterly. They didn't weep just because everything was gone as far as their homes, but also because their wives and children were gone. Their sadness turned into angst toward David. Scripture says that they began to plot against David. They were going to kill King David. They exclaimed that this was all King David's fault. So David finds himself in this low place, and scripture says (I think it's 1 Samuel 30:6) that David encouraged himself in the Lord.
We need to get to this point as leaders, where we are finding encouragement ourselves in the Lord. This only comes from a personal time with Him, with the Lord.
Hopefully your pastor is providing some encouragement. However, if you are planning on keeping your momentum going based upon the encouragement of your pastor, it's not going to happen. Maybe you have a pastor that by nature is an encourager; that's a blessing.
Some of us have great people as pastors. I think about my pastor; what a great man. I know he loves me; I know he loves the church, but he doesn't have the gift of encouragement. I tell him he's got the gift of discouragement (when I'm joking with him). However, he's not by nature an encourager.
Yet all of those years I worked at the church, he gave me a raise every year. He would fund our ministry. He did things to encourage, but he's not going to say, "I'm praying for you today" or "you did a great job with that."
Even if you have a pastor that's an encourager, I don't want you to get your encouragement from your pastor. I don't want you to get your encouragement from your spouse. You shouldn't be leaning on the encouragement of your time, You've got to get to where you have such a relationship with the Lord that you find your encouragement from Him. He is your strength, and He is really the sustainer of your life and your ministry. If you don't have that, you will be on the road burning out.
Your #1 fan,