Consider the Messenger

 

The Encarta Dictionary defines ‘funk’ as a state of melancholy or hopelessness; sadness.

Yep, that describes what I experienced for the past few weeks to a T. I’ve been in a funk before, but without a doubt, this was the worst because of the heavy nature of the things that I allowed to send me into said funk. One of these things was my own ministry and my thoughts about it.

You see, Satan knows exactly where to hit me in order to move my focus from Jesus and onto myself and that is in the area of ministry. I won’t bore you with all the mental gymnastics I went through regarding ministry, but I will tell you I allowed all of it to wear me down to the point that I considered walking away from ministry….completely. The only problem was that I couldn’t. I knew my call to ministry in 2007 was from God. I also knew my passion for ministry and teaching the Word of God. I was just having trouble reconciling what I knew deep in my heart with what was taking place at the moment. I suppose I was questioning my calling.

You know….Satan begins his sneaky little diatribe:

“Did God really call you?”

“No one is interested in hearing you speak.”

“You are not making a difference.”

“No one would miss you if you left ministry.”

And on and on it went.

Two weeks ago I came to the realization that this kind of funk can only be overcome by prayer and fasting, so I began both. Finally, this past weekend the stronghold broke. Praise Jesus!!

Now, I’m not sharing this to get sympathy. That is not what I want and it is certainly not what I deserve. Really, I deserved a good swift kick to the tush for letting Satan hold sway over me for that long.

The reason I’m sharing this is that I would bet my last piece of Italian Cream Cake that there is at least one other person out there with whom Satan is having a heyday.

Do the whispers in your ear sound anything like this?

You are a bad mother.

You should not be home-schooling your children.

No one wants to hear you teach that Sunday school lesson.

What you do doesn’t really matter.

No one would miss you if you were gone.

You are not a good wife.

Look at you, what kind of ministry are you doing? None!

Sound familiar?

The Lord brought me to a sentence in a book I was reading that stopped me cold and helped achieved the spiritual breakthrough I desperately needed. They were the words from Rev. Robert Nichols, who endured significant persecution for his dedication to ministry. These words are taken from a book written by Rev. Nichols’ daughter Rebecca Nichols Alonzo, entitled “The Devil in Pew Number Seven”. Rev. Nichols and his family endured years of bombings, shootings, threats to their lives, and a home invasion in which Nichols’ wife, Ramona was killed and Nichols was shot twice. All this at the hands of one man who resented their presence in the community.

Ponder Nichols’ words when asked if the persecution would drive him away from serving the Lord in that town.

“When the Lord gets ready for me to leave this church, He won’t send the message by the devil.”

Oh my goodness! That spoke like a megaphone into my heart. I hope it does to yours as well. Let’s personalize it.

“When the Lord gets ready for me to leave ________________________________, He won’t send the message by the devil.”

For me the fill-in-the-blank was ‘ministry’. For you, it might be ‘my marriage’, while for others it might be ‘my job’ or ‘my children’ or ‘teaching Sunday school’ or ‘serving at the homeless shelter’. There are a gazillion possibilities. The key is in knowing who is delivering the messages your heart is getting. Is it God or is it Satan?

I urge you……..consider the message bearer!!

MEDITATION MOMENT: Are you receiving messages to your heart that conflict with what you know to be true based on God’s Word? Has this happened to you in the past? I’d love for you to share about it today.

  • jkhenderson3

    Oh, Leah! This is SO good! I just shared it on Facebook. What an incredible word. I am so thankful the Lord helped you press through your discouragement, that He spoke truth tenderly and yet POWERFULLY to your heart. And I am SO glad you are NOT walking away from ministry. You are a powerful tool in the hands of a mighty God, and I know He uses you. That’s exactly what made the enemy want to come after you so hard.

    I love in the second movie of the Lord of the Rings trilogy where the power that Wormtongue had over the king is broken. Have you seen that? I remember watching it, watching Wormtongue hold the king in bondage with his evil whispers, and then seeing the amazing transformation of the king when those lies were broken and he quit giving ear to that worm. Powerful moment! ANYWAYS!!!! So glad you aren’t listening to the enemy and his whispers. I know we ALL have to be on guard against his lies. And I will remember this quote you have shared!

    LOVE YOU!

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Kimberly, Thank you so much for your prayers and love. Honestly, just knowing you knew I was fasting and praying was such an encouragement. This was such a black, deep funk. I might have been a danger to myself had I not had Jesus to steady me. It was really awful. The fasting and prayer were what really began to lift me out and then to find that quote. Oh my word! That is a wonderful book on the power of forgiveness. I’ve got it on my Nook. If you have a NOOK and want to borrow it, it is a “Lend Me” book and I’d be glad to loan it to you.
       
      Thank you sweet friend for your love and prayers. God is doing powerful work through you on your blog. I see how others respond to your transparency and love and it just blesses me so much. Keep it up, girl. God is smiling on you.

  • jkhenderson3

    P.S. I just LOVE it when the enemies plans backfire. He tried to take you out of ministry, not realizing he was just positioning you to get stronger! To get even better equipped for the next time he tries junk like this. Ha. Love it. God is so, so good. :)

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Yes, yes!! Hopefully I’ll be stronger and recognize it quicker next time. 

  • Patti Clark

    Really enjoyed your message today. The Nichols’ quote was very powerful and one I will store away and remind myself of often. I also took from your message that God is moving through you in great ways. The Devil would not waste his time contributing to your funk if you were not a threat to him. I sincerely believe it is time to praise because your ministry has the Devil scrambling! It doesn’t make the pit any easier to get out of sometimes but at least you know you are making a difference. You have made a huge difference in my walk with Christ, and I thank the Lord every day for your ministry and Bible study. Don’t give up on your ministry and speaking engagements. God has big plans for you. You are in my prayers everyday and I thank him everyday for putting you and the sweet girls in our bible study in my life.

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Patti,
       
      What a precious comment! It is such a blessing to me. I pray that the ministry God allows me to do will make an eternal difference for Christ’s kingdom AND that Satan will be mad as fire about it all! It has been such a pleasure to have you as part of our Tuesday morning group and I love the insight and wisdom you bring to the discussions. I’m so glad we connected! Thanks for all you do and for your heart for reaching out to others. Blessings!

  • http://titus24U.blogspot.com/ Jill Beran

    Leah, this is a great post and I’m that one you were sharing for!  Can’t even put it all in words, but God did…thank you.  You are for sure an encouragement and an example.  Blessings to you, Jill

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Well, praise God, Jill. I’m so thankful that His Word to me was more than just to me. He is always faithful to use our trials to comfort others in the same way we were comforted. God bless you.  The book that quote came from is really awesome. I have it on my NOOK and would be glad to loan it out to fellow NOOK readers. It is a LEND ME book on NOOK.  Keep on pressing into Jesus, Jill. He says He loves you very much and is walking right with you!!

  • Julie Shipp

    Thanks, Leah!  I really needed to hear this!  I go through spells (and they are more often than I would, obviously, like them to be) where all I hear is “if you couldn’t make it in court reporting school–with your hearing problem–then you can’t make it through the interpreter training program.”  And when I hear them I always know they aren’t from God, but it’s really hard to get out of the “funk” that I get into by hearing those words.  I was actually starting to get into one of those funks last night.  
    Also, please do know that you HAVE made a difference.  If you ever start feeling that way again please just think about the fact that I am now back at that church that hurt me and I was mad at for over 5 years and it’s because of you!  And, in fact, I’ve been told I can interpret whenever I want at the church–it’ll be a while longer before I feel comfortable enough to interpret (even though I’ve interpreted before–turn out for part of it was good, but not for the rest, but I know I’m still learning).  I was still very leery about going to church (even though I was on the retreat–I know that doesn’t make a lot of scenes but I knew God had something planned for me that weekend) when I was asked to go on the retreat.

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Thank you Julie. You are a blessing to me and I am grateful for the reminder of how the Lord brought us together. So thankful He used what He gave me to speak to help draw you back to a fellowship of believers. Totally a God-thing.
       
      You CAN do the interpreting thing. You can. Stay with it and tell Satan to take his dumb message somewhere else because you are not gonna listen! God has a ministry for you and a plan for your interpreting skills to be used for His glory. Press into Jesus, Julie! Stay faithful to the last word you heard from Him! Blessings to you, sweet girl.

  • Mary

    This is SO  good!!  And SO RICH in Truth. . . thank you for bringing this Light [to me] so that I can learn and benefit and have the Revelation of this Truth illuminate in my heart and mind as well.  Thank you and GOD Bless you!!

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Mary, thank you for stopping in and leaving a comment. You bless me! There is so much truth in the statement by Rev. Nichols. I’m still pondering it. It applies to so many areas of our lives. God bless you and stop in any time.

  • Rebecca Nichols Alonzo

    Leah, thanks so much for letting me know that our story touched your life in a deep and meaningful way. It made me smile knowing that my dad would be so happy to know that his passion for ministry and helping people continues, even from the other side of the veil. I posted a note recently asking, “Who are we listening to on our journey in life…God or the enemy?” This lines up with your blog. It is a daily question that we need to ask ourselves and be on guard to protect our mind–one of our greatest weapons. I am thrilled to hear through prayer and fasting that you got this breakthrough…that testing proves Godly character…but oh the pain of it. But it will be worth it. Reading your post, you are making a wonderful impact in the Kingdom and giving the devil a black eye…Blessings and peace to you on your journey with the Father while you encourage others to hold His Hand as well…See you later…in our real home. Rebecca

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Rebecca, thank you so much for stopping by and visiting me at The Point. God bless you, sweet sister, for the work you are doing for the Kingdom. I know your Momma and Daddy would be so proud of you, as is your heavenly Daddy. Your book gave me real cause to pause and ponder whether I could follow your parents’ lead and extend repeated grace to someone who had so horribly persecuted me. I pray God will give me the grace to do so if/when I face persecution. Thank you for the encouragement.

  • http://twitter.com/LoriWrites Lori Ramsey

    That’s awesome words!  I needed to hear them!  Thank you for sharing – and I must say they ring true for me too!

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Lori, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I think these words ring true for many people. So glad the Lord is making lemonade out of my lemon days. God bless you.

  • Sheryl Dean

    Can I just say WOW!  
    When the Lord gets ready for me to leave this church, He won’t send the message by the devil.
    I need to remember that when I become discouraged or start listening to someone whispering in my ears.

    Leah, thanks.  This is exactly what I needed today.  You are definitely being faithful to God in what you blog.

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Sheryl, thank you so much for encouraging me with your comment. God bless you, my friend. I am always amazed at how the Lord uses something difficult we go through to encourage or bless someone else. Press into Jesus, my friend, and listen only to HIM!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/whitestonepa Jerry and Kathie Thompson

    The word I have been hearing all day is failure. And it sounded just like me talking because it was. Saying out loud all that I was hearing and feeling inside. Failure. Failure at everything that matters to me. As to giving up, the suggestion was to drop out and just see if anybody would notice – drop out of blogging, drop out of FaceBook, Twitter, all the places I connect with people and just see if any of them notice.  On and on all this day and then I came here . . . I wouldn’t say I am home-free yet but I have the tools to work toward it. Thank you is not enough but thank you, Leah. Thank you.

  • http://profiles.google.com/whitestonepa Jerry and Kathie Thompson

    The word I have been hearing all day is failure. And it sounded just like me talking because it was. Saying out loud all that I was hearing and feeling inside. Failure. Failure at everything that matters to me. As to giving up, the suggestion was to drop out and just see if anybody would notice – drop out of blogging, drop out of FaceBook, Twitter, all the places I connect with people and just see if any of them notice.  On and on all this day and then I came here . . . I wouldn’t say I am home-free yet but I have the tools to work toward it. Thank you is not enough but thank you, Leah. Thank you.

    • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

      Kathie, you are a blessing to me. Your wisdom and insight in each of your comments is priceless and I appreciate you so much. I would miss you and I know others would as well. I’m so glad what the Lord spoke into my heart has spoken into yours. Bless you my friend. Hang on and press into Jesus!!

      • http://profiles.google.com/whitestonepa Jerry and Kathie Thompson

         Thank you, Leah. It is such a God thing for love and respect to be given and received in the Body of Christ even when sisters have not met face to face. I am so glad to share ‘web-land’ with you. It has been a rainy day here in lower Alabama but there is SONshine in our hearts. Hanging on, pressing in and joy is bubbling up. Continued peace and joy to you my dear sister.

  • http://profiles.google.com/whitestonepa Jerry and Kathie Thompson

    The word I have been hearing all day is failure. And it sounded just like me talking because it was. Saying out loud all that I was hearing and feeling inside. Failure. Failure at everything that matters to me. As to giving up, the suggestion was to drop out and just see if anybody would notice – drop out of blogging, drop out of FaceBook, Twitter, all the places I connect with people and just see if any of them notice.  On and on all this day and then I came here . . . I wouldn’t say I am home-free yet but I have the tools to work toward it. Thank you is not enough but thank you, Leah. Thank you.

  • http://profiles.google.com/whitestonepa Jerry and Kathie Thompson

    The word I have been hearing all day is failure. And it sounded just like me talking because it was. Saying out loud all that I was hearing and feeling inside. Failure. Failure at everything that matters to me. As to giving up, the suggestion was to drop out and just see if anybody would notice – drop out of blogging, drop out of FaceBook, Twitter, all the places I connect with people and just see if any of them notice.  On and on all this day and then I came here . . . I wouldn’t say I am home-free yet but I have the tools to work toward it. Thank you is not enough but thank you, Leah. Thank you.

  • http://www.peaceforthejourney.com/ elaine @ peace for the journey

    Powerful, strong word, friend. I get this one. I’ll message you privately.

    peace~elaine

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Elaine, thanks for stopping by. Seems a lot of people are really hit by this one. I think Satan needs a bit of taming down, huh?

  • http://writingwhilewalking.blogspot.com/ Vickie

    Leah, this is the first time I visited your blog and may I say wow. 

    I am telling you, you wrote this blog post just for me. I have been in such a funk for the last few months that I can’t even describe. I know God has called me to teach His word and felt like I was on my way, but somehow I allowed the voice of the enemy to drown out God’s voice and I have felt completely useless in the Kingdom. Thank you for posting this as I am finding my way back into the arms of Jesus. I’ve recommitted to studying the Word and spending time as His feet. 

    Thank you for this post today, for being so transparent and allowing Him to use you.blessings,Vickie

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Vickie,
       
      Thank you for stopping by The Point and for leaving a comment. I’m blessed to know that what the Lord gave me has touched your heart. Satan does not want anyone teaching God’s Word, so he opposes and oppresses. Press into Jesus, sweet one, and draw on His strength and His Words. That is the only way any of us can write or teach anything worthy of being called Kingdom Work. Every day I am intentional in my efforts to hear from God for my writing and speaking. Otherwise they are only empty words. God bless you and stop by any time!!

  • http://www.endeanmom1.blogspot.com beth_e

    Sweet Leah,

    I, personally, know what a powerful impact you have have had in my life. Our gIRLs weekend and the time we spent together in prayer was powerful. I’ll never forget it.

    Praise God for the breakthrough you had, for I know that I know that I know you touch the lives of everyone you meet.

    I felt as if you were reading my mail with this post. It’s too long and too personal a story to share here…just know that your post ministered to me in a powerful way.

    Love you…

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Dear sweet Beth,
       
      Thank you, thank you for your comment on this post. Thank you for the sweet words of confirmation on my ministry. That was such a precious time in Black Mountain. Jesus was so very present. God bless you dear friend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1198239098 Lori Dixon Macmath

    Girlfriend!! This struck a major chord with my me…the quote is one that is going in the journal…thank you for your transparency…it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who needs a “kick in the tush” for letting the enemy get the best of me…
    LOVE this and Love you! Your anointed words ministered here too, but you already knew that!

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Lori, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. It seems a lot of us have been in a funk. I’m just thankful that God does not leave us where He finds us. He is all about restoring us to usefulness and Kingdom work. Thank you so much for the Kingdom work you do and for allowing me to be part of it over at Internet Cafe Devotions. God bless you.

  • Lyciamarie

    As I lie here in bed in complete vegetative mode reading your blog I am moved. Once again I considered giving up. Not what God wants, but the will power to continue was lost completely in all the emotional garbage thrown at me. And then you throw that quote at me! Thank you is all I can say through my tears. Sounds like a book I need to read very soon!

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Lycia,
       
      Thank you for stopping in at my blog, reading and leaving me a comment. I’m grateful that what the Lord gave me touched your heart. I’m sorry for all the turmoil in your life. The emotional garbage can definitely be overwhelming. Praying you find peace in the midst of it.

  • http://www.surviving-motherhood.blogspot.com/ Karen Hossink

    “He won’t send the message by the devil.” Ahhhh, so true!!!!!
    I cannot tell you how many times I have considered giving up, feeling like I am not making a difference, like I don’t matter. Then God reminds me – through things like this post – that I DON’T make the difference. HE DOES! And I am NOT going to let the devil tell me what GOD is going to do.
    Thank you, thank you for sharing your heart and this encouragement. Love you!

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Hey sweet friend, thanks for stopping in and leaving such a wonderful comment. We should always be on the alert with regard to where the messages are coming from that get into our heart. Only God should direct us…you are so right! Blessings to you.

  • Susan

    Great post, Leah. The quote sums it all up!

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Susan, thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment. It is always good to have you visit my corner of the blogland. Have a blessed weekend!

  • Heather Akins

    Thanks so much Leah!!  Great message and LOVE the sentence!!  I will be writing that down! 

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Heather, that quote really just about did me in. It is one I will be remembering for a long time. I’m thinking about printing it off and putting it in a frame in my office. There is so much truth in it and I need to remember it most every day. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Cindy Thomas

    I couldn’t stop thinking about that quote last week after you shared it with me.  It made an impact and played a huge part in a spiritual decision that had to be made.  

    Your ministry makes an impact for Him.  Keep on keeping on.

    Love you my friend,

    Cin

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Cindy, thanks for your comment. You are such a precious friend and I’m blessed to have you in my life. I’m thankful I shared the quote with you. I love you, my friend.

  • Heather Clement

    You, my lovely friend, have been a constant source of encouragement to me in my own walk with the Lord. You minister to my heart without even trying. So thankful that you will not be chased out of ministry… you are exactly where the Lord wants you, and He’s using you mightily. And I’m grateful.

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Dear Heather, thank you for writing words of encouragement to me. My sole desire is to be one the Lord can and will use and it pleases me to know He has used me in your life. He has certainly touched my heart by your writing and journey. It has been a privilege to support you in prayer and I do hope we can meet IRL (In Real Life) one day. God bless you, friend.

  • http://bluecottonmemory.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/sitting-in-the-stairwell-vintaging-the-past/ Bluecottonmemory

    The mind is a battle ground where Satan drops thoughts designed to destroy – oh, I have been there – and those funk days slide in. When I realize what’s going on, an “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus” just sends them on their way. But those funk moments, when we become mired. Your quote, that it is God who will send the message, not the devil – oh, my, that is life changing. Thank you for this!

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Ah, yes, if only we could instantly remember to rebuke those ‘funky demons’ in Jesus name before the ‘funk’ takes hold. So glad you stopped by today. Blessings to you.

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Ah, yes, if only we could instantly remember to rebuke those ‘funky demons’ in Jesus name before the ‘funk’ takes hold. So glad you stopped by today. Blessings to you.

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  • Tricia

    Awesome post! I too, have read The Devil in Pew Number Seven, and it was excellent! It was such a powerful, powerful message of forgiveness!
    Thank you for this post. It was very encouraging! Who doesn’t fight the Devil’s whispered discouragments from time to time? Thank you for being real, and honest with your battle, and how you beat your “funk”.
    http://www.twotiarasandasword.blogspot.com

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Thank you for stopping by. Yes, I think we all have to be
      on the alert against Satan’s whispered lies. 
      I am still amazed at how this post spoke into so many lives, though. I
      think most people are afraid to be so transparent and let people know they are struggling.
      I’m thrilled the story of my struggled touched hearts. Can’t wait to visit you
      at your little corner of the http://www. 

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    Beautiful, insightful post, Leah. Thanks for sharing your journey authentically so the rest of us don’t feel so alone in ours! 

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Thank you for stopping in at The Point and leaving a
      comment. You bless me!! I think it is so important for us to be authentic and
      transparent in our struggles and our victories. It draws others to you…both
      believers and non-believers. God bless you.

  • http://profiles.google.com/lisasmith93 Lisa Smith

    Just getting around to reading this and oh.my.word. Thank you, Leah. Thank you for remembering me. Thank you for sharing so vulnerably with me and speaking out so boldly. I would like for you to share this on my blog–when I have readers again ;D 

    I’m going for a run while I chew on this for awhile.

    Love you bunches!
    lisa

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Lisa, it is so good to hear from you. Thank you for
      stopping by and leaving a comment. That was definitely quite a quote, wasn’t
      it. It hit me right between the eyes. 
      God bless you, my friend.