The Fog of Funk

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

I have been a bit of a funk this past week or so. I cannot say when it started, as these things always seem to come as a surprise. Webster defines funk differently than I do. According to Webster funk means in the noun form “a state of nervousness, fear, or depression.” That is not far from my definition as those symptoms are present when I am in a funk. For me the definition of a funk is when I have taken God of the throne of my life and put myself on the throne. My adversary, Satan, knows when I am in a funk and quickly takes advantage of the dire situation I have allowed myself to fall into. When God is off the throne of my life His power is greatly weakened in me and the wall around me forms cracks in it. Satan searches for those cracks and will come in and build a stronghold for himself in my life.

The goal of Satan is to cause me to fall into sin and distance my fellowship with the Lord and leave me further and further on my own. This is a state when one will quench the Spirit that dwells within and His influence does not have the strong effect that it should. This is not in any way God’s fault it is mine, as I took Him off the throne. It is then I find myself saying “I got this” and “I can handle it.” I find myself learning an old lesson that as a Christian you cannot win the battle against Satan when God is not on the throne. I always ask myself, “How many times Lord must you reproof me before I learn to abide in you.” “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

I found myself as Jonah, not obeying the will of God and following His lead and plan for my life. Jonah did that when the Lord told him to go to Nineveh and preach His Word. Going to Nineveh would be like settling down in the camp of ISIS. One would think that it would be a short time before they departed this world in a not so pleasant way. This is what Jonah thought and he boarded a boat headed in the opposing direction. It wasn’t long before he ended up in the belly of a great fish and spit back out three days later. Jonah got the message of God, repented, and went to Nineveh to preach God’s Word.

When Jonah got to Nineveh the people responded to God’s Word and most all repented and worshiped the Lord. Jonah should have been praising the Lord for the mighty way that He had used him. But Jonah fell into another funk and became bitter. In fact he became angry because he felt that the people of Nineveh did not deserve the salvation of the Lord. The Lord rebuked Jonah with these words, “The LORD said, “Do you have good reason to be angry?” (Jonah 4:4) Jonah had judged the people of Nineveh and determined that they did not deserve the salvation of the Lord and was mad because they had received it.

It is not for us to judge the souls of men as we do not know the beginning for the end. God is ever present. He is before the Garden of Eden, He is present here now, and He walks the borders of eternity. God is all knowing and knows who will receive Him and who will reject Him. Who are we to judge these things that only belong to God to see? “Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” (I Corinthians 4:5)

Last Wednesday Night service the Pastor got my heart turned right-side up. He was teaching in Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” His teaching lead into the Parable of the Prodigal Son. I myself have been privileged to speak on that Parable and also use it in my personal testimony. The Pastor went there in response to a young man who came into the Church cold, wet, and with no clothing but a pair of shorts. He was a pitiful sight to see but this is not the first time that he had appeared at the door of the Church. We helped him out, fed him, gave him provision and he stayed for the service that Sunday. Now he has returned again and with his hand out for more aid. Being in my funk I judged him to be nothing more than a panhandler looking for another free handout rather than a hand up. Being that I was in a funk my heart was not right, self was on the throne, and I had no love for my neighbor. In my heart where the Light should have been was only darkness. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1 John 1:6)

Was I being judgmental, yes? I was hiding in a verse that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians. “But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” (1 Corinthians 5:13) The Pastor was on purpose, the purpose he and the rest of us have been given. “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2) Thus, the Pastor went to the Prodigal Son and made the young man feel the welcome of the Kingdom. I was hearing but I was not listening until I hear the Pastor read this verse. “But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.” (Luke 15:28) The older brother was angry that his younger brother had come home. The connection was made this young man was my brother. What reason did I have to be angry as Jonah?

I had to read that because it spoke loud to me as never before. The older brother was angry that his brother had come home. Why wasn’t he rejoicing? Then I read the next two verses and the full truth came into my heart even louder. “But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.” John 15:29-30) He was the good son, he was obedient to all that his father had asked him. Now this renegade brother of his had come home and there was a celebration. I have always seen this Parable as speaking to the joy of the Father when a sinner repents and turns toward the Kingdom of Heaven. But it is more than that.

How many of us think that we are the good sons? Paul says, “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3) I am obedient to the Father, I spend my days in His service, I counsel and minister to many in His name, and I present the Church with my time, talent, and treasure. But the truth is I am just as much a sinner as this young man is and God has led him into His house. How dare I in my funk lead one of his own astray? “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

We cannot allow ourselves to remain in a funk as I had. We cannot allow ourselves to take God of the throne of our life and not expect that the adversary will come walking in to rob us of our joy. If we find our self in a funk, then we need to let God take His rightful place on the throne of our life once again. It is humbling and it is necessary because apart from Him we can do nothing. It is a time to go to our knees in prayer so we can stand in the victory that the Lord will give us. He is not only wanting, willing, and ready to forgive, but are we ready, willing, wanting to confess and repent. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, September 7, 2016

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