I saw a caption in a book recently that got me thinking; “Be on Fire But Don’t Burn”. As unusual as the caption seems, it drove home a major lesson that is worth sharing this season. We need to learn the secret of staying on fire without suffering burnout.

Friend, destiny is a race; a journey towards the fulfilment of God’s eternal counsel and purpose (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). In this race of destiny, speed is not as important as safety and longevity. Just like in a marathon, we need to learn what to do to keep strong and effective despite the demands of the journey. We need to avoid burnout.

“…the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2). Perhaps, aside trying to get the attention of Moses, can we say that God was also trying to pass a lesson to him that it is possible to be on fire and not be consumed? Had Moses caught this lesson early, the counsel of Jethro may not have been necessary. He was almost suffering burnout before Jethro intervened (Exodus 18:13-18).

Burnout is real. Exhaustion is common. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, leaders need to take care of themselves. Managing strength and energy is a major skill that anyone who would go far would have to master. Even Jesus had to tell His disciples to come apart and rest awhile. They were almost getting carried away with activities to the detriment of their health and productivity (Mark 6:31).

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength…” (Isaiah 40:31). You need to constantly go for retreat and renewal if you would not suffer burnout. Don’t wait until you need a retreat before you have one. Make it a daily, weekly, monthly, annual and lifetime practice. Our bodies have not been designed to keep running without rest. Most of us have learnt to rest and service our devices, vehicles etc. but fail to do so for our body. Your body is more important than all of those.

When weariness begins to set in, you need to re-strategize (Ecclesiastes 10:10, 15). Truly, strategy is better than energy. The busier you get, the wiser you must become. What would you have to do differently this season? What activities would you have to stop doing altogether? How can you achieve better results without pushing too hard on your emotional and physical health? Strategy would answer these questions.

© ‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria