Posts Tagged ‘Gal 5:1’

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)

Forgiveness #3: Spiritual Exchange

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isa. 61:10)

Forgiveness is a spiritual exchange… our filthy rags for the riches in Christ! Its the letting go of our guilt and shame, and the accepting of our freedom in Christ! Freedom is beautiful, in that it reveals the work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life! When we confess our sin, heaven touches earth for the cancellation of a debt (1 Jn. 1:9)… “sins are blotted out” and “times of refreshing” are experienced (Acts 3:19-21). As we confess our sin and wrestle through the mixed emotions of shame and hurt, we find the wonderful embrace of the Holy Spirit. I believe it’s necessary to set aside time where we talk with God, reasoning together and waiting for His response (Isa. 1:18), so that this exchange becomes a source of strength and confidence.

Breaking the Grip of Sin:

In seeking forgiveness, we are not just trying to “feel better”; but break a covenant agreement that has been set in our heart. As a Child of God, we will never find freedom to live without shame and guilt until we break the power of sin (Rom. 6:11-14). By confessing our guilt and letting God deal with our shame, we are removing everything that hinders love. We are breaking covenant agreement with sinful behaviors that try to rule our hearts and minds and committing ourselves in the spirit to the “New Covenant of Love” in Christ Jesus. Forgiveness is not really about what we “release to God” but what we receive from God in prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Our agreement with God transforms our thinking, restores wholeness to our relationship and times of refreshing break forth from the Presence of the Lord.

Unhindered Love:

Freedom to love God without hindrances, while loving others out of that same resource is the measure of our spirituality in Christ. We experience His love, affection and tenderness towards us and love begins to “abound, still more and more” (Phil. 1:9). The love of Christ has power for the heart and soul of a man in a way that is different from any other force on the earth. It’s actually more than what we feel and think, when the love of Christ touches our heart; it’s how we see and what we become. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he prayed that love would abound “in knowledge and all discernment, that we would approve the things that are excellent…” (Phil. 1:10). Forgiveness allows us to see into the excellent things of God and appreciate them as a lifestyle… Jesus said, “abide in My love” (Jn. 15:9).

Spiritual Pits:

The grace of God is the only way to truly escape the spiritual pits and snares of sin. Attitudes of bitterness, cynicism and anger rise from shame and guilt ridden hearts. The Bible calls it a “yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1). Yet the promise of God is that His anointing breaks every yoke and removes it from our shoulders (Isa. 10:27)… so we bear it no more. He tells us He will remove our sin and cast it as far away as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12).

“In Him [Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us” (Eph. 1:7-8).

The Great Exchange – Our Rags (Isa. 64:6) for His Riches (2 Pet. 1:2-4): Jesus became our Substitute in the battles that overwhelm us.

• Jesus took our sin, so that we could receive His righteousness! “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5). “He (God – the Father) made Him (Jesus – His Son), who knew no sin to be sin for us; that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
• He took our sickness, so that we could be completely whole! “By His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5). “Who Himself bore our sins in His Own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).
• He took our grief and sorrows, so that we could have peace! “Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows…” (Isa. 53:4). “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you…” (Jn. 14:27).
• He took our poverty, so that we could be rich in Him! “He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9).
• He suffered fear and became separated for us, so that we could be united in His love! “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice… My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mk. 15:34). (Now, in Him) “…we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (Eph. 3:12).

Called to Freedom

We have been called to freedom! Sin’s curse is broken by the blood of Jesus and the faith of the believer. No question, we must recognize the significant privilege we are offered as God’s Children. What can we say to such a gift?

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all…” said the Apostle Paul (Rom 8:32).

The great Apostle’s analysis comes with several conclusions…

  • There is therefore no condemnation for the believer!
  • If God is for us, who can be against us!
  • Surely He will give us all things!
  • In all this we are more than conquerors!
  • Nothing can separate us from His love!

Jesus said, “…you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32). The key to genuine freedom is found in the phrase, “know the Truth”; because Jesus would later tell us that He was “the way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6).

To know Christ is to walk in freedom and to walk in the Holy Spirit is how we maintain our freedom.

The word “Christ” is actually a title, not a name. It means Anointed One. Jesus, God’s Christ, was the Anointed One sent to destroy the yokes of bondage and lift the burden of sin from our shoulders (Isa 10:27).  When Jesus was about to begin His ministry He announced the fulfilment of Isaiah 61… that He was the Anointed One of the Holy Spirit sent from God to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. To call all humanity to freedom from poverty, brokenness, captivity, blindness and oppression (Lk 4:18-19). To declare that this would become the season of Jubilee; freedom from debts and freedom from sins that made us debtors.

Jesus has set us free by forgiving our debts!

Therefore, since we have been called to freedom and made free by our faith in the blood of Jesus, we should never allow ourselves to again be subject to a yoke of slavery (Gal 5:1). The Apostle Paul tells us, ”Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17). Through our fellowship with the Holy Spirit, the Word of God is brought to our remembrance and transformation takes place. As we yield ourselves to Him, He renews our minds and maintains our freedom in the Truth.