When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. —Job 23:10
The main reason for burnout and fatigue is almost certainly because someone has operated beyond their anointing rather than functioning within it. It was because the person could not accept the limits of his or her ability.
None of us can do everything, but to a person who is not content with the anointing or gift that he or she has, there will be trouble ahead. It is humbling to accept our limits, but there is considerable joy and peace in doing so, not to mention an increase of anointing. We can pray for a greater anointing—namely, an ability to do what we previously could not do in our own strength—but until that anointing has come, we must accept the limits of our faith and our ability.
When we are content with the anointing God chose for us, we do what we are called to do without fatigue. "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Phil. 4:13). When I become mentally and emotionally fatigued in what I am doing, it is a fairly strong hint that I have chosen to move outside my anointing and what God specifically asked me to do. As long as I do what He called me to do and no more, I will not be edging toward burnout. God never promotes us to the level of our incompetence. As long as we are content with the calling He has chosen for us, we will live and move at the level He has seen fit to give us.
So if it is a great anointing you want, anticipate great suffering at some stage. The anointing is the power of the Holy Spirit to make you do what you do with ease and without fatigue. If you wake up one day with one big enormous trial before you, you should grasp it with both hands and consider it pure joy!
Excerpted from Pure Joy (Charisma House, 2006).