I have this yellow book bag I’ve used for years. It’s roomy, expands for larger books and files, and has lots of pockets for all those small objects that easily find their way into the black hole that is the bottom of the bag. Stylish and cheap, it’s served me well. Lately, I’ve begun to notice some subtle changes. It doesn’t quite stand as straight as it used to. The bottom’s a little scuffed and the fabric on the straps are starting to peel.
It’s been a very slow process, but my favorite yellow book bag is wearing out.
Lately, I’ve been noticing some signs of wear and tear in some of my friends in leadership. The responsibilities and pressures of ministry are taking their toll on them. I don’t think they’re aware of what is happening.
The warning out of Daniel 7 that keeps coming to mind when I see these friends is this:
Beware the wearing-out tactics of Satan.
“He will defy the Most High and wear down the holy people of the Most High.” Daniel 7:25 (NIV)
Satan has a plan to wear down the people of God. Gradually. Slowly. He wields his weapons with such intricate precision, you don’t notice what’s happening until you feel the severe effects of being worn out and worn down.
To be fair, we can’t blame it all on the devil. Sometimes we just plain bring it on ourselves. In Exodus 18, Jethro watched Moses wear himself out listening to the complaints of Israel, trying to solve each and every one of their issues.
It’s interesting to me that even though Moses had so many conversations and encounters with God, it took Jethro - a trusted outside voice - to suggest the strategy that Moses implemented to keep him from wearing out.
The Bible tells me to fervently resist the work of Satan’s wearing down. As a child of God, he will have to leave me alone! And if I’ve brought it on myself, I need to seek out a trusted voice that will help me arrest this destructive process.
If someone you know is looking a little worn around the edges, pray for them. Be aware of the signs that come with wear and tear. Encourage them and be that trusted outside voice that may have an answer for them.
Your words may be the ones that God uses to make a difference.