The leech has two suckers that cry out, “More, more!” There are three things that are never satisfied–no, four that never say, “Enough!”
In Bible times, horseleeches were a common problem. It was a parasite that lived in water. Horses would pick them up when drinking from pools of contaminated water. The horseleeches would lodge in the horse’s throat, nose, or nostrils and begin draining it’s very life blood.
A leech is something that seeks to suck the spiritual life out of you. It’s goal is to rob you of your ability to effectively serve the Lord. It is patient. It drains you a little at a time until one day you wake up and like Samson in Judges 16:20, “When he woke up, he thought, “I will do as before and shake myself free.” But he didn’t realize the LORD had left him.” His power to serve was gone and it happened so subtlety he never knew it took place until it was too late.
What is sucking the life out of you? Here are 6 leeches that have their sights set on a slow kill…and you may not even know it’s happening.
People. Our ministry is people. But be careful about people who attach themselves to you and begin to constantly drain you. It may be someone who is always negative. It may be someone who repeatedly calls you on your day off and demands the time you have set aside for your family. It may be someone who instead of following the Biblical counsel you give them would rather just lean on you as an emotional crutch.
Problems. In ministry, there are always problems that arise. You can probably think of 3-4 right now that you are dealing with. And dealing with them can suck the very life out of you.
Pressure. The pressure can be a constant life drainer. Paul reminds us of this in 2 Corinthians 11. I chuckle when I read it. He starts off by talking about all he has endured including beating, shipwreck, hunger, prison, and more. At the end of the list he says, “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”
It’s like he is saying the toughest part of ministry is the pressure. We all feel it. It can come from our leaders but normally it comes from within. We are driven. We want to reach the world. We constantly are striving to get more done and make a bigger impact for Christ.
Pace. Ministry can take over your entire life. It can consume you. It can easily grab all 7 days of your week. There is always someone else who needs you…another lesson that needs to be written…a phone call to make…an email to respond to…a family to follow up with…a hurting person to pray with. You keep telling yourself it will slow down. But it never does.
Pain. Prolonged physical pain can drain you. Whether it’s a bad back, ongoing illness, medical condition, or complications from a surgery…it can suck the joy and vitality out of your life. I had a friend who had back issues. It got so bad that he had to quit work. The bills begin to pile up. It sucked the life out of him to the point that he committed suicide.
Personal sin. Sin will suck the joy, anointing, and power out of our ministry. That hidden sin is doing far more damage to your spiritual life than you may know. The horseleech couldn’t be seen on the surface. It attached itself inside the horse…out-of-sight. Unforgiveness, lust, pride, anger, bitterness, jealousy and other hidden, personal sins will eventually take you down if not dealt with and forsaken.
So how do you deal with the leeches that are sucking the life out of you? How do you avoid waking up one day like Samson?
Tomorrow I will share my personal story of allowing leeches to suck the life out of me to the point where I almost lost my ministry. I’ll share what I learned through it and how I dealt with them. Join me as we talk about how to effectively deal with the things that are draining us.