Mark 6:45-52, Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. 46 And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. 47 Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. 48 Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. 49 And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” 51 Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. 52 For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
Let’s take a look at the beginning of verse 48, Then He saw them straining at rowing…Straining and driving effort does not accomplish the work God gives man to do. Only God Himself, who always works without strain, and who never overworks, can do the work that He assigns to His children. When we restfully trust Him to do it, it will be done well and it will be done completely. The way to let Him do His work through us is to partake of Christ so fully, by faith, that He more than fills our life.
In John 4:13-14, when talking to the woman at the well,
Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
How about this for a personal motto, ‘Not overworked, but overflow.’ This could make a big difference in our lives.
There is no effort in overflow. It is quietly irresistible. It should be the normal life of the believer in Christ, today and always… overflow.
If you’ve lived on this big blue marble more than a decade or two, you have probable experienced the pressures of life. The pressures of parenting, working to put food on our tables, while reaching for this unseen goal of peace and happiness that seems to elude us more often than not. The American life both blessed and busy, we wake each morning to the crack of dawn and begin the rat race, only to fall into bed exhausted each night.
It’s no surprise when God speaks into our lives and gives us a task to do for Him that many times we’re not the least bit interested. “Add more to my plate? Nope. Not me. Thanks for asking, God, but I’ll pass. Why don’t’ you ask Mrs. Happy pants. You know the one who seems to have it altogether?”
Some of us pretend we didn’t hear Him, ignoring the gentle nudge He is giving us in a divine direction. Some of us balk, and complain, “Lord, really? There couldn’t be a worse time than this.” Some hide behind false humility, “Certainly you don’t mean me, Lord. I’m not the one for the job. There’s many more who are more skilled, educated, talented…” sound familiar. But lest we forget, then there are Some of us, who dive in head long, grabbing one thing after another, knowing He desires us to do it and take off running, only to crumble in our own strength halfway between the start and finish line.
Which one are you?
I’ve been all of the above. However, we should understand God does have a to-do list for each of us. The obvious is to change us from the inside out, but it will also include some tasks He will want us to accomplish. And if you’re anything like me, I can hear you already saying. “I can’t do this. I just can’t.”
AND…“You’re right, you can’t…but He can.”
2 Corinthians 12:9, And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Pray and give back the list He has given you to do, invite the Lord to enter in and give you the strength you need to accomplish the task at hand. God is not looking for our effort, He is wanting us to overflow.
Whether we’re writing a book, caring for a toddler, raising a teenager, or maybe trying to put the pieces of our life or our marriage back together again, draw from Him before we put our hands to whatever He has for us today. Go to Him and drink from His well of living water. If we’re frustrated and discouraged, or exhausted from striving that’s not from God.
Lean on Jesus today. Hand over your to-do list. And, whatever He adds to that list do it. Draw strength and peace from God before tackling the holy task at hand—without striving, because there is no effort in overflow. Let Rivers of Living Water flow from you.
Mark 6:52, For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
Do not let your get hardened understand that God is the great provider of strength, peace, hope, grace, whatever it is, God will multiple. Show up ready to serve and will do the rest.