Anything Not Everything

“Anything not everything”Sir?  I responded. God said to me, Jessika you can do ANYTHING, but you cannot do EVERYTHING.

Have you ever prayed that prayer, “God I will do EVERYTHING for you!”

Yea, me neither. It’d be pretty foolish to think I could do everything and yet I’ve found myself many times trying to do exactly that.

There’s plenty of needs around us. We have managing ourselves, our families, jobs, church duties, and more. God help us if we begin to open our eyes to other families, other cities, the nations, the hungry, the poor, the hurting, the victims, the deceived, the misguided, those who need love, those who need mentors, those who need parents, etc. etc. etc.

My prayer has never been God I will do EVERYTHING, but it has always been God I will do ANYTHING!

I am a woman of many deep intense passions and I’m also an S on the DISC test. (google an S on the DISC profile and you’ll see what I mean) I love love love studying the Word of God. I love preaching the Word of God. I have a huge desire to see the body of Christ rise up and be edified. I also love evangelism. I love to go out on the streets and see the lost get saved. I love dreaming of new outreaches and ways to reach the lost. I love other nations. I love to do missions and see God move in the world. I have a heart for justice which means I love being in war zones and dreaming for an end to war and genocide. I love working with victims of injustice like rape victims, human trafficking, abused kids, and more. I love teenagers. I love being a spiritual mom and discipling teenager girls. Youth ministry has been something I’ve loved for years! I love working with addicts. I have a specialization in addiction recovery and there’s something that ignites in me when I work with addicts and their families. I love healing. I love to pray for the sick and hurting. Healing conferences and the healing rooms pump me up. When I see someone with a cast it’s hard not to leap on top of them to watch God heal their bones! I love inner healing. I had dreamed of being a counselor long before ministry was on my radar. I desire to see the body of Christ completely WHOLE! No anxiety, depression, fear, insomnia, etc. But rather completely whole and at peace in their souls with healthy relationships!

There’s many more passions I could share, but you get the point. There are many fields that I like to do ministry in and there are needs in each of these areas. The reality is I can’t always be doing ALL of these things and God is not asking me to do all of them at all times.

I can’t always be in a war zone, while I’m always discipling a teenager, while I’m always preaching the gospel, while I’m also seeing the American bride rise up, while I’m praying for the sick, while I’m working in the nursery, while I’m assisting my pastor, while I’m organizing a prayer meeting, while I’m being a good friend, daughter, student, employee, getting plenty of hours of sleep, eating healthy, exercising, and actually cultivating a growing relationship with God.

YOU. CAN’T. DO. EVERYTHING, BUT you can do ANYTHING!

So what does that look like? It looks like seeking God’s face on what is for you to do in this season. There are some things that will always be in your realm of responsibility and there are some things that will only be yours for a season. Learning what is for “now” is imperative to avoid exhaustion and burn out.

God wants us in this thing for the long haul and to sustain life for the long haul we can’t take on loads that aren’t ours to carry. Trust me, I know from experience even in my short eleven years following Christ that the temptation to do more than what you can handle will always be there, but eventually you’ll find that your body and spirit will let you know when it will no longer choose to participate in your lifestyle. There is always grace to do the assignments that God has called us to and sometimes we’re puzzled when He doesn’t extend grace over everything we’ve decided we’re going to do.

I remember reading a while back one of the mother’s in the faith, Heidi Baker, say “I’m called to model rest to this generation”. I just thought, Pshhh. There’s so much you’re called to model, why on earth would you say you’re called to model rest? Heidi’s organization has planted well over 10,000 churches. They’ve seen hundreds of thousands of orphans brought into family. Many saved, healed, even raised from the dead. She preaches a message on love and humility that has changed the way many even look at ministry and people. But she believes she is to model… rest?!? In our go go go, change the world, save them all, enthusiastic generation many have not learned that we actually do have physical and emotional limits. Your body does actually need rest. Your emotions do actually need tending to. We can’t actually meet every need for every person that we see, much less all the needs of the planet.

That’s why we are the body of Christ. That’s why each joint must supply. That’s why we actually need God and there’s nothing more powerful than prayer.

When I came to Bethel I was prophesied over more times than I can count in the first few weeks. Awesome, great, wonderful, words of encouragement, but almost every single one had some component that went like this. “You’re tired, exhausted, and God just needs you to learn how to rest in this season”. I didn’t feel tired, I felt a lot of things, but tired wasn’t one of them. Then I found myself sleeping and sleeping and sleeping. I finally had a long sit down talk with my pastor and he simply said tell me what the last two years of your life looked like. As I described two moves, churches, ministry, spiritual kids, mission trips, war zones, book writing, and on and on and on. He asked me an instrumental question. “When did you ever take time to just rest, by yourself? Take a vacation where you weren’t meeting up with someone, you weren’t listening to someone, you weren’t dealing with any emotional or spiritual needs, when was the last time you simply rested?”

It was the first time that I actually realized… I hadn’t. I hadn’t taken time to rest. I hadn’t taken time to really ask God what was my responsibility and what was someone else’s. I’d had mentors tell me before that I couldn’t do everything, but I didn’t realize that I was trying to do everything! And now I understand why Mama Heidi feels she must model rest. It doesn’t matter how anointed you are, how gifted you are, how much you have the ability to do, it doesn’t matter how much you want to help people, it doesn’t matter how much you want to be able to do everything, if you don’t learn how to take care of you, prioritize your responsibilities, and rest you will find quickly that you have limits!

So take some time to seek the Lord on what is for you to do in this season. Prioritize your life and see what deserves the most of your time, attention, and finances compared to what is actually receiving those things. Remember to take care of YOU because you are no good to anyone when you becomes unhealthy physically, emotionally or spiritually. Then go change your world!

Be Blessed,

J. Tate