I left off my last post with a single Spirit-whispered word that came right when I wanted to quit: Don’t. As I leaned into that word in the days that followed, God carried on the conversation, finishing His sentence by pointing me to part of one of Paul’s in Galatians 6:9: “Don’t lose heart.” I’m sure you’re familiar with the full verse – it reads this way:
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
The KJV renders the words “grow weary” as “be weary” which seems to be a much more straightforward interpretation of the kind of weariness Paul is describing here. Because, to me, the NKJV’s use of the word “growing” indicates a future, slow movement towards what will eventually be weariness. But, the Greek word is present tense which means it is occurring here and now, in actual time.
Now, the Greek word, ekkakeō, for “be weary,” is a compound of two different Greek words: ek (meaning “out of” or “away from”) and kakos (meaning: “a bad nature, a mode of thinking, feeling, acting; troublesome, destructive.”) So the idea that Paul is conveying here is deliberately coming out of and getting away from destructive thinking and feeling.
(Hello, Elijah is dog-tired, leans up against a tree, and begs God to take him.)
The reason ekkakeō is such an interesting verb is because of the thing that Paul warns against being weary of: well-doing. But he’s not just talking about any kind of well-doing. Paul refers to a continual, habitual, repeated, and consistently beautiful and praiseworthy kind of doing. And the actual “doing” word? It’s poieō, and it describes a person’s thoughts and feelings that are expressed by deeds.
It is absolutely possible that you will find yourself weary in your continually beautiful, outward expressions of your inward thoughts. Don’t. For, Paul says (or, more literally, “the fact is” ): in due season – your Spirit-picked period in time that is distinctive of and particular to you – you will reap the fruitful reward of all of your persistent and faithful efforts toward accomplishing the things which God first planted in your heart to do if you don’t lose heart.
Now, here’s the thing about losing heart: it means to have your strength relaxed, to be made feeble through exhaustion, to be tired out. The Greek compound verb occurs only five times in the New Testament, and, in addition to this example of being exhausted, you can also find it in Matthew 15:32, describing the crowds feeling weak or faint from lack of food. But the thing about that story? It’s that Jesus fed them – all 4,000 of them – by multiplying seven loaves of bread and a few little fish.
Remember a minute ago when I referenced Elijah, dog-tired and bogged down from a mind spinning out of control so much that he leaned up against a tree and begged God to die in 1 Kings 19? Do you know what happened next?
God fed him. And he went on in the strength of that food, which allowed God to speak to Elijah shortly after in His signature still, small voice. And he continued in his powerful leadership position, walking in the prophetic calling that was uniquely placed on his life.
So, as you persistently and faithfully pursue the calling that God has uniquely placed on your life? Make sure you don’t starve yourself of His Word. Dig in daily. Set it as an appointment on your calendar. Non-negotiable, no questions asked. Because hunger always leads to exhaustion. So take one from Elijah’s book.
Let Him feed you.