Leading On Empty

Richard Waialeale


1 Samuel 14:31-33 (NIV)

31 That day, after the Israelites had struck down the Philistines from Micmash to Aijalon, they were exhausted.

32 They pounced on the plunder and, taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood.

33 Then someone said to Saul, "Look, the men are sinning against the Lord by eating meat that has blood in it." "You have broken faith," he said. "Roll a large stone over here at once."


When a leader drives his team to the point of exhaustion or burn out, what happens is extreme weariness and they start to sin and make mistakes. The Bible says, Saul’s army was driven to the point of exhaustion, and they started making mistakes, the Bible calls it sinning.

In a church, we can feel as though we’re so filled with the Holy Spirit and on fire for Jesus that we drive ourselves and those around us into burn out. I’m not blaming God, but only saying we lose control over the God size dream He has given us to saving lives and winning souls for Jesus. We feel like we have to keep driving ourself into the ground until every last soul on earth is saved. But we end up burning out and making mistakes. What we end up doing is leaving dead bodies behind (sort of speaking), and the next thing you realize is you’re burnt out and there’s no one else following you.



First of all, I need to place margins in my life otherwise I’ll get short tempered with those around me. Build up others, allowing them grow into leadership (no room for solo mission or jealousy). Don’t do so many programs or unnecessary events, but do the things that move people closer to Jesus. Keep it clean and simple. If people want more programs and events, let them do this outside of what’s most important, and keep the things that move people closer to Jesus a priority. Learn to say no sometimes. No can be an anointing word.


Lord help me to see the things that are important to You. Help me build the ministry that serves others and loves Jesus. Amen.

Devotions for April 13

1 Samuel 14
1 Chronicles 4
2 Corinthians 13

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