Exhaustion means that the vital forces are worn right out. Spiritual exhaustion never comes through sin but only through service, and whether or not we're exhausted will depend upon where we get our supplies. Jesus said to Peter - "Feed My sheep," but He gave him nothing to feed them with. The process of being made broken bread and poured out wine means that we have to be the nourishment for other souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain us to the dregs. Let's be careful that we get our supply, or before long we'll be utterly exhausted. Before other souls learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus direct, they have to draw on it through us; we have to be literally "sucked," until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and His sheep as well as for Himself.
Let's ask ourselves...Has the way in which we've been serving God betrayed us into exhaustion? If so, then let's rally our affections. Where did we start the service from? From our own sympathy or from the basis of the Redemption of Jesus Christ? Let's continually go back to the foundation of our affections and recollect where the source of power is. We've have no right to say - "O Lord, I'm so exhausted." He saved and sanctified us in order to exhaust us. Let's be exhausted for God, but let's remember that our supply comes from Him. "All my fresh springs shall be in Thee."
The first danger from which men need saving is the guilt of sin. God's answer is the cross. The blood that flowed from the broken tortured body of Jesus represented the life that He willingly gave for us. We have no power to erase our sins. But the blood that He so willingly shed has the power, not merely to cover up our sins, but to blot them out as if they had never happened! Hallelujah! That's freedom!
Someone may read this who's not merely hated someone. You've actually committed murder---or some other terrible crime. When you allow yourself to think about what you've done, there's a terrible weight on your soul. You wonder if there's any hope. For someone else, maybe, but surely not you. But I tell you on the authority of God's word that the blood of Jesus Christ---and ONLY the blood of Jesus Christ---can make you as free and clean before God as if you had never even committed those crimes in the first place!
Let's turn to Romans 3. "There is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." Romans 3:22-25. The gospel doesn't only show us our need; it also shows us God's perfect remedy.
Ephesians 1:7 says, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace."
Prosperity and...or Adversity
"I know how to abound."
There are many who know "how to be abased" who haven't learned "how to abound." When they're set upon the top of a pinnacle their heads grow dizzy, and they're ready to fall. The Christian more often disgraces his profession in prosperity than in adversity. It's a dangerous thing to be prosperous. The crucible of adversity is a less severe trial to the Christian than the fining-pot of prosperity. Oh, what leanness of soul and neglect of spiritual things have been brought on through the very mercies and bounties of God! Yet this isn't a matter of necessity, for the apostle tells us that he knew how to abound. When he had much, he knew how to use it. Abundant grace enabled him to bear abundant prosperity. When he had a full sail, he was loaded with much ballast, and so floated safely. It needs more than human skill to carry the brimming cup of mortal joy with a steady hand, yet Paul had learned that skill, for he declares, "In all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry."
It's a divine lesson to know how to be full, for the Israelites were full once, but while the flesh was yet in their mouth, the wrath of God came upon them. Many have asked for mercies that they might satisfy their own hearts' lust. Fullness of bread has often made fullness of blood, and that has brought on wantonness of spirit. When we have much of God's providential mercies, it often happens that we have but little of God's grace, and little gratitude for the bounties we've received. We're full and we forget God: satisfied with earth, we're content to do without heaven. Rest assured it's harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry---so desperate is the tendency of human nature...to pride and forgetfulness of God. Let's take care...that we ask in our prayers...that God would teach us "how to be full."
" Let not the gifts Thy love bestows Estrange our hearts from Thee."