How to Balance Your Ministry and Spiritual Life Successfully



he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its
roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be
green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from
yielding fruit. ” Jeremiah 17:8

A friend of mine
stopped by the church last week to chat with me. He shared some of his
frustrations about his spiritual life and told me where he wanted to be.
What I found while
listening to him talk was he was trying to pour out, but he wasn’t being filled
enough to give anything of substance
away. He was tired due to a hectic schedule, work, lack of rest, and trying to
help in too many areas of the church.
“I appreciate
the love and passion you have for your ministry, for the church and the people
in it. But you can’t be effective if you have nothing to give. And if you don’t
take some time for yourself–to soak–you’re going to shrivel up and cough out
dust to the ones you want to saturate with living water.”
Sometimes we get so
busy ministering to others, we forget we need to be filled ourselves. You can’t
run a ministry and  never sit in the
service under the shepherd, skip small groups that will minister the Word, or neglect
personal time in the Word for whatever excuses
And I’m not saying
this person was neglecting his personal time with God. But he needed to sit a
little longer. Soak until his skin puckered.
Soaking is fabulous.
We need to soak in God’s word personally, from pastors, teachers, and other
Now, by telling you
to soak, I’m not giving you license to sit on a pew or in a chair and take and
take and never give. There’s a balance.
goes in, needs to come out. That’s the point of soaking.
Let’s look at trees
for a minute. Hang with me. Fascinating creations, aren’t they? Most every tree
branch raises its limbs to the heavens, except the Willow and I have to wonder
if it’s called Weeping because it’s not praising the Lord. I don’t know. Something
to think about.
When trees are
planted, water is taken in at the root and carried up with nutrients through
the trunk and into the leaves.
of tree water is eventually dispersed from the leaf stomata through
evaporation, into the atmosphere.
That beneficial loss of water from the tree is
called transpiration.
Transpiration comes
from the word “transpire” which means, “to come to light or be
known.” Latin trans + spirare = to breathe.
tree keeps 10%, enough to stay alive and healthy, the rest it breathes out for
others to breathe in.
We need the washing
of the water of the Word in our lives. We need to daily soak our roots in it. We need to let it travel from where we’re planted (by
living water), through the trunk of our body–saturating our stomach’s
desires,  filling our lungs with praise,
and protecting our hearts, until it reaches our limbs. Leaves like our
fingers and tongue. Letting Light be known. Breathing out and giving
life-giving air to the atmosphere around us.
Keeping enough to
stay healthy and strong.
Giving most of it
weren’t meant to hoard God. We were meant to give Him away.
we weren’t meant to give until we have nothing left to keep going.
90/10 ratio. If
trees can stay sustained at this rate. I think we can too.
grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so
that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”  Mark 4:32
do you fall? Is it time to give some away? Are you giving and skipping on
soaking up water in your roots? And do you have a favorite tree? Why do you
love it?