Running on Empty

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2 Samuel 18:22 “Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?”

Two men are presented in this verse, and both men were very good men. The difference between these two men was that one was commissioned to run, and the other was zealous to run but wasn’t prepared to run. Cushi was the one who was commissioned to run. When Cushi was commissioned to run, he was told to go tell the king “what thou hast seen.” When Ahimaaz asked to run, Joab said, “Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?” Joab was saying to Ahimaaz, “You are not yet prepared to run, so wait until you are prepared, and then you can run.”

I love the zeal of Ahimaaz, but he needed to stay until he was prepared to run with substance. Preparation is critical to running prepared. Running without preparation causes you not to be able to meet the needs for the purpose for which you run. Yes, it is wonderful to have zeal, but you need to be prepared or your zeal will be wasted.

Let me illustrate this critical truth. A young aspiring doctor wanting to be a surgeon, but instead of getting the training they need, they go straight into the operation room and start surgery. It doesn't matter how zealous this young aspiring doctor may be; this would be detrimental to the person who is having surgery should this happen. That young aspiring doctor needs to get the needed training before running into surgery.

Let me bring this truth to every young teenager and adult. I am thrilled that you are zealous about doing something in life, but you need the training before you jump out and attempt your desires. The young preacher boy who desires to be a preacher needs to get training before going into the ministry. Just because you have surrendered to preach does it mean that you should immediately go into the ministry; rather, you need to wait until you are trained before you run.

The young Christian who desires to do something great for God needs to be trained before they can run on their own. Keep your zeal, but follow those who are training you with your zeal so you can learn how not to waste your zeal. Zeal without training is wasted energy; whereas, zeal with training meets the needs of those with whom you are trying to help. Don't get discouraged as a young Christian because the Pastor won’t give you a place to lead; rather, place yourself under someone and learn how to serve and you can be a better servant for Christ.

Moreover, the Christian running without studying God’s Word daily will run on empty. You will not have the substance you need to help others when God has not filled you with His sustenance from His Word each day. You need to spend time in God’s Word daily so that you can have the substance to help others.

Furthermore, the Christian running without spending time in prayer will run on empty. You need time every day with God in prayer so that He can fill you with His power to help you as you serve Him. You will find yourself not having the power needed to meet the needs of those you are trying to help if you don't spend time with God in prayer every morning.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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