Posts Tagged ‘run for cover’

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)

The Way of Escape

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:12-13)

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:10-12)

These two passages almost sound as though they contradict each other, but I have found them to be equally helpful in reaching God’s destiny for my life. I believe in these two important keys… first, to find the purpose for which God created you, and second, to fight for it in spite of all opposition. Abundant life is when you connect your passion with God’s purpose and know that God is receiving pleasure in the journey!

Throughout my life, I’ve had my fair share of heart-wrenching situations, including the loss of ministry vision, abandonment, rejection, and betrayal from those whom I thought were trustworthy friends. The list could go on and on. Each of those hard places tried to blind me and imprison me. Satan’s goal is always to keep me from defining Kingdom purpose and destiny. Yet each time, God broke in to offer the way of freedom. I have learned to trust that in trials and temptations, God will always set before us a way of escape so that we will not be overcome or abort the dream that He has for us. If you can recognize it, you will succeed!

Face Your Giants!

Every time you are face-to-face with a “giant” of opposition, you must decide whether you will allow God or the giant to define who you are… and the character of your heart! In recent months, the Lord has spoken to me several times about the story of David and Goliath. I’ve become intrigued with the fact that the name Goliath means “expose or reveal”. When the Philistine giant came against the Nation of Israel, Saul and his soldiers’ exposed their fear. They allowed words to get in their head and intimidate their hearts. At the same time, and with the same words… the courageous heart of a warrior was revealed in David. Stop and meditate on that for a moment.

Who we Really Are:

Life’s giants expose our hearts and character… revealing who we are. When we face crisis, trials or opposition, those circumstances either reveal and amplify the greatness of God within us, or expose our weakness. God wants us to see this stuff; and we need to see it if we ever hope to overcome the world and its intimidating ruler, the devil. He is a liar and thief, but his ultimate aim is to rob us of the Glory of God.

The Good News:

The way of escape is a two-way opening! Sometimes it is not a doorway open for you to run for cover, but for God to enter and strengthen you with His might! When God’s greatness within you is revealed, run toward the giant with whatever stones God has placed in your hand. And when your eyes are opened, the weaknesses that lie within will diminish and you will feel the anointing engage… its the great opportunity to be made strong in Him (2 Cor. 12:9-11)(Phil. 4:13).

“Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ.” (Eph. 3:8) …and I will not miss God’s dream for me…