I want to open up a little bit and give you a peek behind the curtain into the life of a church planter/ pastor, but really I believe this is a reality for every Christ follower. I call it “Blue Monday”. Yesterday I preached my heart out at City on a Hill Church, like I do every week. I mean I left it all on the platform. I felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the magnified, multiplied presence of God. When I preach I preach like I will never see the congregation God has called for the North, South, East and West before me ever again. The harsh reality of that is it is very true. I will never see that exact group again. So I preach the Gospel passionately and open myself up being as transparent and authentic as humanly possible. I don’t know any other way to preach. God has blessed my offering and we see Jesus Christ changing lives weekly. It comes at a high price. You can not strike into the heart of darkness and not expect retaliation. I wasn’t finished more than 30 minutes and the enemy of my soul started in on me. It is not new it happens every week without fail. I know I preached exactly what I was lead to preach. I know the presence of God was there. I know it was a victory and we saw lives changed, addictions broken, hope restored, lost people found, wanderers come home, and miracles, signs, and wonders. In all of that I start to get the blues. I call it Blue Monday but it usually starts Sunday afternoon. I have learned in my life, DON’T MISS THIS, one of the greatest ways to deal with our struggles is to share them, call them out, expose them and remove the power from them by sharing them with God and others. Just sayin’. As I look through the scriptures I am comforted because I am not alone. Elijah, one of the greatest prophets to ever walk the earth struggled with this too. I challenge you to read 1 Kings chapters 18 through 20 and you will see what I mean. Elijah is coming off one of the most powerful victories in his life against the prophets of Baal in Chapter 18. He was so confident in God to show up that he did some pretty bold things to prove the power of God. One short chapter later (19) we see him hiding in a cave with the blues. Elijah was having his own personal Blue Monday. We see him hiding and crying out to God questioning his call, questioning if God would provide and protect him. The dude was truly in the cave I call Blue Monday. The coolest thing about the story is that God met Elijah there, reassured him, comforted him, and put him back on mission. One short chapter later (20) God also sends in help, God sends him Elisha. I know this applies to us all also because of the parable of the sower Matthew 13:1-23. Whenever the Word of God is sown the enemy of our soul is there to try and steal it, trample it and keep it from taking root. Our prayer should be that God would prepare our hearts to be good soil. Listen every seed that goes into the ground must die to produce it’s harvest. I pray what dies in my heart isn’t faith but doubt. I pray what God did in my heart every week germinates, takes root and produces fruit. I pray this for everyone who was with us yesterday and every Sunday. I can’t let Blue Monday steal what Resurrection Sunday purchased for me. I imagine there are many who experience Blue Monday after a spiritual victory in their lives. For this pastor/ church planter it comes without fail. I battle it willingly to see the life change God has favored City on a Hill Church to see in our short 20 month old existence. Don’t get me wrong it doesn’t make it any easier. Our enemy is crafty. The past two Mondays have been bluer than most because our whole church has been called to the Daniel Fast. Fasting brings a whole new dimension to Blue Monday. Even my leadership has been called into question by the enemy of our soul. Rather than focusing on those joining in the fast the enemy tries to bring my attention to those not participating in the fast. I just try to ignore his accusations and celebrate with those who took the challenge. To say it doesn’t sting just a bit wouldn’t be true, but I have to keep in mind City on a Hill Church was birthed out of my fasting and prayer. I can’t focus on those not feeling the call to fast I have to focus on everyone. I must not allow accusations to make me feel anything but love and affection for all of the precious people God has called me to shepherd. Even as I type this I battle Blue Monday intensely. I should have expected it because the presence of God was so intense in our service yesterday. I saw many people undeniably connect with God. For those of you who did I pray this blog crosses your path. My suspicion is that Blue Monday will try and creep in so be on your guard. Battle it through prayer, praise and prejoicing. I shared this blog for numerous reasons. My hope is to garner prayer support, call out a personal struggle, expose the enemy’s tactics and end isolation. Next week I will preach my heart out like I have since we opened. I will be just as transparent and authentic as I can humanly be. I will speak what God has put in my heart and say what He anoints me to say. I have heard it said, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” So I will be ready when Blue Monday comes a callin’. Why? Because I know help is on the way! God will give us our Elisha we just have to get out of the cave. If you think about it I should be happy when Blue Monday comes because it means City on a Hill Church is coming off another victory to the glory of God. Be encouraged!