Posts Tagged ‘discerning’

The Garment of Praise

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

The answer against a “spirit of heaviness” is to put on the ”garment of praise.”

Satan hates praise:

Praise exalts Jesus no matter what the circumstances may look like. It engages our trust in God and activates our faith like nothing else can do. You see, praise introduces light and supernatural life into our circumstances. It is the ultimate release of spiritual freedom. Just listen to the following verses and let something click inside.

(2 Cor 3:17) “The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

(Gal 5:1) ” Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

(Jn 8:36) ” Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Praise is Agreement with God!

Praising the Lord and agreement with the truth of God’s Word, renews the mind and lifts the spirit of heaviness off your shoulders. Notice the Prophet Isaiah says that your life is designed to reflect your calling as “trees of righteousness”. Its your destiny to become the “planting of the Lord”. As you praise Him daily, you will release the stature of Christ within you… “that He may be glorified”, seen and celebrated as your Deliverer! Nothing so clearly displays the power of God like our freedom in the spirit.

The Effect of a Spirit of Heaviness:

It darkens our countenance. Our hearts are down cast. This spirit brings a “heaviness” over us and dims our vision, robs our hope and crushes our sense of purpose. There are testimonies I’ve heard from people who say “when this spirit comes it even makes the room feel darker”. It brings a heavy and oppressive atmosphere that restricts and quenches our perception. It may come like a cloud hanging over you or your location, but the most difficult part to deal with is that it causes isolation. The devil’s goal is to remove you from the atmosphere of love and approval. Think about it, if Satan can get you isolated, then he can break your spirit and remove your source of inspiration and hope.

Recognize it:

This is the first step. You are a Child of God! This is not God’s will for you!  “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31) Don’t believe the lies… Praise God instead! Accept no criticism and carry no extra baggage. You must learn the art of selective hearing, so that you choose the things you ignore and the things that come from the Throne of Heaven. We destroy arguments and pull down strongholds, so that every thought is made captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5). That means I am actively discerning where my thoughts are coming from and believe me… I can rule over them with praise!

Put on the Garment of Praise!

This literally means to be “wrapped up in praise”. God has given it to be worn and provide insulation. So put it on like a jacket every single day. Take a few moments each morning and every time there is a battle raging, to put it on like armor on a soldier. You will watch your enemy run for cover with his tail between his legs… like a whipped puppy. That’s right, praise is your most effective tool in magnifying God and shrinking the influence of the devil. Get loud, get aggressive and set your heart on spiritual freedom!

It is the anointing that breaks the yoke! (Isa 10:27)

Talk Matters

Don’t be fooled – talk matters.

These days, people spout off about all kinds of stuff. Whether it’s an opinion on politics or the latest story from Oprah, we can’t keep quiet about all the juicy details. Somebody told me that the average person uses over twenty thousand words a day. Obviously I haven’t used all of mine today. We are a talkative people; yet I wonder whether we consider the implications of our words? While we often argue for our freedom of expression, Scripture actually warns us to be careful with our tongues.

Talk Exposes:

Yeah, we enjoy speaking our mind, but the ancient world understood the purpose of speech quite differently. For them, “speaking” was a unique reflection of one’s position within in the tribe. It was not only a reflection of a person’s character, but of status and honor. They believed that honorable people would speak honorably. Now that would be a neat trick for our politicians, don’t you think.

Solomon’s Thoughts:

  • “Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning” (Prov 10:13)
  • “Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his lips” (Eccl 10:12).
  • “Wicked men… whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways” (Prov 2:12-14).

Jesus said:

  • “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks…men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mt 12:34-37)

Drawing from the same tradition as Solomon, Jesus reiterates that the tongue directly reflects the heart. Essentially He’s telling us that people are the sum of their words. The manner and content of their speech mirrors the essence of their life.

Perhaps the wisdom of James should be considered at this point…”Therefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak.”  (Jms 1:19). I know its something I have to remind myself often. My dad used to tell me, “Son, a fool is never discovered, until he opens his mouth.”