When You Run Out of Steam

Jeremiah 51:34

March 10, 2013 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Jeremiah 51:34)


A.      Jer_51:34  Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.”

B.      Have you ever felt like this? Used up, empty, worn out, and even discarded? Israel did

C.      We ALL Reach “Empty” at times


1.      We all run out of “steam” – run out of energy, strength

2.      Weariness is a part of life.

3.      Weariness especially is a part of ministry, and the Christian life!


D.     It always happens when we set our hearts on doing good for others. We get used up.

E.      Well, when a car’s fuel tank gauge shows “E”…


1.      It’s because you are driving the car. If you drive a car, you will use up the petrol in it

2.      Problem is when we CONSTANTLY are running on, or near empty

3.      With a car, we just have to pull into a Petrol Station, and fill up the petrol tank, and then we are back on the road again…

4.      In the same way, when we are running near empty, we need to pull into a place where we can get refilled


F.      What NOT to do when you run out of “gas – when you get worn out…


1.      Don’t Quit – stay on course

2.      Don’t Say stupid things

3.      Don’t Neglect to get filled again – some people run out of “steam” and are still stuck at that same place for years – and they just rust out there! What a waste!


G.      Signs that you are running on Empty


1.      Irritable – no Grace with people, and no praise or thankfulness

2.      Making Bad Decisions – making decisions that go against what you had already, previously decided to do

3.      Start and Stopping a lot – no consistency in your life

4.      Loss of power

5.      Stuck, at a stand-still – not moving forward at all


H.     The wonderful blessing of God, however, is that He will renew us and sustain us and rekindle us, daily, hourly as needed!


1.      2Cor 4:16

2.      Psalm 23:1-3

3.      Psalm 18:2,32-35


I.        So, what do we do when we get weary? When we run out of steam?


II.    Message


A.     First of All, BE Weary in Well Doing (Galatians 6:9)!


1.      Laziness, slothfulness can not be refreshed

2.      Labour, work, have something to do that counts for something!

3.      Do some good – serve the Lord in a ministry (1Cor 15:10)

4.      And serve people

5.      And THEN, when you are tired, you can be refreshed, and refilled!


B.     Secondly Desire to be FILLED – not just “sample” and “taste” these good things (Lk 6:21)


1.      Don’t cheat yourself by just nibbling at dinner food, or by just sipping a little water

2.      Don’t think that just a few litres of petrol will do you any good

3.      Pay the price to get filled up – it will cost, but it will get you further


C.     Thirdly, Fill-Up on Good “Fuel”


1.      Fill up on God’s Words (Psalm 119:28)


a.       Spend over a half hour every day

b.      Wouldn’t it be awesome to spend a whole hour in this supernatural Book?

c.       You may only have time for 1 chapter… amen

d.      But get into the forced habit of making time so that you are filled up with God’s words

e.       It will strengthen your faith, and your heart, and especially your mind!


2.      Hold Onto Good Friends


a.       God often restores us through the encouraging word of a friend.

b.      Moses encouraged Joshua (Deut 3:25-28)

c.       Job was an encourager (Job 4:1-4) as was Barnabas

d.      Onesiphorus (2Tim 1:16)

e.       Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus (1Cor 16:17,18)

f.        Philemon (Phlm 1:7)


3.      Be Filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18)


a.       God re-fills us through His PRESENCE, the Holy Spirit in us (John 14:23).

b.      The Holy Spirit IN us is a great strength (Eph 3:16)

c.       Constantly – not a one time event

d.      Get rid of anything that is clogging/blocking/grieving the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart and life


1)      Darkness (5:8-12) dark movies, witchcraft, evil

2)      Blindness – be well aware of Satan’s devices (5:15) Walk circumspectly

3)      Ignorance of the will of God (5:17)

4)      Wine, drugs (5:18)

5)      Anything that might grieve the Holy Spirit of God’s presence


4.      Fill-Up on Right Music and Songs that lift our hearts (Eph 5:19)


a.       So, DUMP the songs of fools (Eccl 7:7)

b.      Look at what you fill your heart and mind with every day


1)      Words of rebellion

2)      Words of fake love and fantasies

3)      Music for your flesh


c.       Godly music HELPED King Saul (1Sam 16:23)


5.      Praise God a Lot (Eph 5:20) – Be Constantly Thankful


a.       God inhabits (dwells in the midst of) the praises of His people (Ps 22:3)

b.      Praise is too often an act of sight, instead of an act of faith

c.       Fill your mouth with PRAISE (Psalm 71:8)


6.      Have Times of Strong Prayer (Heb 5:7-9)


a.       Casting all our weights and burdens

b.      We walk away lighter on the feet

c.       Able to go another hundred miles as we do God’s will


7.      Wait a Lot (Isa 40:28-31; Psalm 27:14)


a.       Trusting Him, no matter how long He is taking

b.      Trust that He IS refuelling you, strengthening you, preparing you

c.       We all want to race ahead, but without fuel, we ain’t going nowhere.

d.      When you get filled, then you will be able to put the pedal to the metal!


III. Conclusion


A.      There are many more ways to get refilled


1.      Like, Simplify your life – throw things overboard that are holding you down

2.      Like getting right with absolutely everyone in your life – throw off all the shame and regrets that hang around our necks like anchors


B.     But this evening, we have learned that, when we run out of steam…


C.     First of All, Be Weary in Well Doing!

D.     Secondly Desire to be FILLED – not just “sample” and “taste” these good things (Luke 6:21)

E.      Thirdly, Fill-Up on Good “Fuel”


1.      Fill-up on God’s Words (Psalm 119:28)

2.      Fill-up on Good Friends

3.      Be Filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18)

4.      Fill-Up on Right Songs that lift our hearts (Eph 5:19)

5.      Praise God a Lot – Be Constantly Thankful

6.      Have times of strong prayer (Heb 5:7-9)

7.      Wait a Lot (Isa 40:28-31; Psalm 27:14)


F.      So while our bodies and spirits may get weary, let's not let our hands fall idle. If we will serve with faithfulness, discipline, and integrity, God's grace will empower us to do what he has called us to do.