Blessed…

20151023_180823Yesterday (11/11) was indeed a high day for ministry. We had more people yesterday at church studying the Word, more children memorizing and applying Scripture, and more opportunities to listen and follow the Spirit as He led us in our church. Our staff meeting was amazing and uplifting as we continue to bond together, and I am now more excited about the awakening spirit existing among the believers in the church than ever before! Wow!

This is a great journey for me personally. Last winter, due to some difficult circumstances, attacks, even Satan’s best efforts, I felt inadequate, empty, even lonely at times. It’s easy to respond by saying that I wasn’t inadequate because I had Jesus, and I knew that in my mind, but my heart ached and the mild depression became more serious and even overtook me. To be frank, it at times consumed me for a period of time in early 2015, even while I wore the mask that all was well with my soul. Truth is, it was a dark time for me. However, I can tell you that as I worked through it, Christ prevailed and God reigned as I looked to the hills and my help came from Him.

So what changed? I will tell you that my response to allowing the Lord to work changed. I have struggled with what Spurgeon once called “melancholy” for years, but I know the triggers. When I begin to feel the darkness coming, and it often comes on Mondays or other days when I come off of a ministry high day, I would usually change up the routine. I would take more time than usual to pray, read, worship, even exercise as I meditated on God’s goodness and grace. I read encouragement cards from people, and I reflected on God’s blessings in my life. Basically, I would take time to drink in the goodness of God and His eternal life in me.

But this was different. The darkness overcame even those techniques, and the reason was because that’s exactly what these things were- techniques. There was nothing really supernatural about it. No, something truly supernatural had to be done, and the work of the Spirit had to have a place in me to cleanse and change me. I had to get out of the way and allow Christ to prevail in me. This is where I went, and through my submission to Him and by letting the Spirit lead in me, I’ve been changed. My ministry philosophy has changed, my approach has changed. Praise God, there’s no therapy, no medication, and no technique that could ever be greater than the power of the Spirit of God!

Yesterday was a great day. The adrenaline feels like it’s still pumping. The mind is traveling a hundred miles a minute. The thrill is there, yet this is the time to drink it in. Let the Spirit speak. Enjoy life. Enjoy Christ in me and my church. And whatever the temporary circumstances of the day, I pray that you will do the same!

Ps 34:8- “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”