Posts Tagged ‘strongholds’

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)

Rending Heaven

“Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your Presence. To make Your Name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your Presence.” (Isa. 64:1-2)

Like many of you, I have felt the despair of this season. We are in a very narrow place and even as the nations rage, there is a sense within my heart that all is not well. Everything that can be shaken is being shaken. If we are not careful, each of us might be tempted to believe that we are alone in this season. The Tempter would love for us to believe that God is not with us, that He doesn’t care about our challenges and that no one, not even our closest friends, are concerned about us. Yet, we must not allow the devil to cause us to surrender one step or one inch of our Kingdom posture. We must stand on His Word and tell the devil, “It is written!”

Releasing His Word:

When God says He will rend the heavens, He means that He will tear open a portion of heaven for His entry. He intends to come down by releasing His Word to us. The word “rend” is connected to the same word in Greek which means to “call out”. God is calling out! He has violently ripped a hole in the spiritual atmosphere and come into our world… His Word has become flesh and dwelt among us. As unsettling and unnatural as it was for a virgin to conceive and as foolish and unacceptable as it was for the world to embrace; God was rending the heavens and making Himself known to the nations. Why? Because His very Name is life, peace and salvation!

Let me repeat: His Name is Life, Peace and Salvation!

This “calling out” means several things. First, it implies that God will call out to us. He will make His name known to us, to call us to accountability. He knows us by name and He desires that we know Him… that we know His voice and His Presence. That we recognize love when it is demonstrated by a cross. It also implies a calling out to our enemy… His adversary! That’s right, can you picture this? Not only is God rending the heavens and calling out to us with words of life, He is also calling out to our enemy; the accuser, who accuses us day and night. What’s He saying… “It is Finished!” The day of vengence has now come…

  • I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:19-21)

God is once more rending the heavens and coming down to us, by releasing His Word. Will we hear Him? He is speaking concerning our breakthroughs, as well as exposing the strongholds that are blocking His advancement in the Earth. He is speaking new strategies and equipping His people with power to transform the culture one person at a time. Shaking is not a new thing, its a God thing… God is revealing His purposes in the Earth and exposing the enemy at the same time. Our responsibility is to walk in God’s Promises and trust in His Fathering Heart.

Understand His Intentions:

Position yourself to hear the Voice of Your Redeemer! Remove the old garments for the Bride Groom stands ready. Cast aside the influence of Babylon (the world system) and Mammon. Shake yourself free from discouragement that latches onto your mind. Renewal and refreshment are awaiting the Bride as she sees with the eyes of faith and love. This Bride Groom comes with fire in His eyes, declaring His intentions. The Lord is extending peace like a river and the wealth of the nations like flowing streams (Isa 66:12). He comes anouncing His intent… “I have come for My Bride!”

The Good News:

There is a good word in these times of shaking. “Though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning” (Ps 30:5). God is not finished and He has no intention of holding back… for in rending the heavens He is making His Name known among the nations. The mountains will shake, but those who have their hearts set on their Beloved… they will welcome the sound of His footsteps.

“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21)

The Beholding Principle

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18)

One of the most important spiritual principles of the Bible is the principle that what we continuously behold, will be what we become. If we behold and study God’s fiery love for us, our hearts will become fiery with love for God. When we behold the emotions of God, we receive truths about how God feels about human beings; about you and me individually, about our destinies, our personalities, our likes and dislikes… we find our place in His heart. We can certainly connect with mysteries that are beyond finding out and behold the majesty of God. But when we see Him as He is, we begin to change.

The Key to Transformation:

The Apostle Paul wrote of this spiritual principle as a key to transformation… as we behold the glory of the Lord we are transformed, “from glory to glory”. This very basic principle is foundational to the Biblical theology of heart transformation. It is what made David a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). Simply stated, whatever we behold or understand about God’s heart toward us, is what we become in our hearts toward God. If we behold a mean stingy God, we will become mean and stingy. But if we behold His glory, as the Apostle Paul wrote, the Holy Spirit will transforms us.

Pursue the Heart of God!

By pressing into God’s emotions through study and a personal pursuit of our relationship with Him, we find our place in His heart. We become men and women captured by His heart. If we behold what David beheld about God, we would live as he lived, and we would carry our hearts before God as he did. The things David, Moses or even Adam beheld in God’s heart are still there, available and awe-inspiring; as they have been throughout history. God invites us to behold the very thing these powerful men experienced. We can behold the reality of God’s emotions every time we look into the face of Jesus, our Savior and Friend… He is the glory of the invisible God (2 Cor. 4:6)(Heb. 1:1-3).

When we begin to understand God’s emotions for us, corresponding emotions are quickened in our hearts. The same emotions we gaze upon within His heart come alive in our own hearts, and we reflect them back to Him. For example, when we behold the passion in God’s heart for us, our own heart starts to feel passion toward Him. In the Bible John tells us that we have passion for Him, because we first understood His passion for us (1 Jn. 4:19). We enjoy God more by searching out and convincing ourselves of God’s enjoyment of us. One of the most amazing revelations of my life came when I began to feel God’s embrace of me… to realize that God was not just loving me, but He liked being with me, because He truly liked “me”!

The Unveiled Face:

Think about it for a moment… how do our hearts become alive? How do we get free from the addictions, strongholds and pain of the past? It was the Apostle Paul who taught believers to seek renewal by receiving knowledge of the image of God (Col. 3:10). It was in the face to face encounters that change took place in Moses, David and Isaiah. Spiritual transformation and the renewing of the mind will only happen through revelation knowledge, which is the knowledge of God’s heart bursting into our own hearts. This beholding principle is the miracle God spoke about when He said He would write a new law upon our hearts (Jer. 31:33)… “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

It Is Written

“Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your Presence. To make Your Name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your Presence.” (Isa. 64:1-2)

Like many of you, I have felt the despair of this season. We are in a very narrow place and even as the nations rage, there is a sense within my heart that all is not well. Everything that can be shaken is being shaken. If we are not careful, each of us might be tempted to believe that we are alone in this season. The Tempter would love for us to believe that God is not with us, that He doesn’t care about our challenges and that no one, not even our closest friends, are concerned about us. Yet, we must not allow the devil to cause us to surrender one step or one inch of our Kingdom posture. We must stand on His Word and tell the devil, “It is written!”

Releasing His Word:

When God says He will rend the heavens, He means that He will tear open a portion of heaven for His entry. He intends to come down by releasing His Word to us. The word “rend” is connected to the same word in Greek which means to “call out”. God is calling out! He has violently ripped a hole in the spiritual atmosphere and come into our world… His Word has become flesh and dwelt among us. As unsettling and unnatural as it was for a virgin to conceive and as foolish and unacceptable as it was for the world to embrace; God was rending the heavens and making Himself known to the nations. Why? Because His very Name is life, peace and salvation!

Let me repeat: His Name is Life, Peace and Salvation!

This “calling out” means several things. First, it implies that God will call out to us. He will make His name known to us, to call us to accountability. He knows us by name and He desires that we know Him… that we know His voice and His Presence. That we recognize love when it is demonstrated by a cross. It also implies a calling out to our enemy… His adversary! That’s right, can you picture this? Not only is God rending the heavens and calling out to us with words of life, He is also calling out to our enemy; the accuser, who accuses us day and night. What’s He saying… “It is Finished!” The day of vengeance has now come…

“I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:19-21)

God is once more rending the heavens and coming down to us, by releasing His Word. Will we hear Him? He is speaking concerning our breakthroughs, as well as exposing the strongholds that are blocking His advancement in the Earth. He is speaking new strategies and equipping His people with power to transform the culture one person at a time. Shaking is not a new thing, its a God thing… God is revealing His purposes in the Earth and exposing the enemy at the same time. Our responsibility is to walk in God’s Promises and trust in His Fathering Heart.

Understand His Intentions:

Position yourself to hear the Voice of Your Redeemer! Remove the old garments for the Bride Groom stands ready. Cast aside the influence of Babylon (the world system) and Mammon. Shake yourself free from discouragement that latches onto your mind. Renewal and refreshment are awaiting the Bride as she sees with the eyes of faith and love. This Bride Groom comes with fire in His eyes, declaring His intentions. The Lord is extending peace like a river and the wealth of the nations like flowing streams (Isa 66:12). He comes announcing His intent… “I have come for My Bride!”

The Good News:

There is a good word in these times of shaking. “Though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning” (Ps 30:5). God is not finished and He has no intention of holding back… for in rending the heavens He is making His Name known among the nations. The mountains will shake, but those who have their hearts set on their Beloved… they will welcome the sound of His footsteps.

“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21)

The Working of Focus

“…let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:1-2)

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, this was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” (Jn. 1:14-16)

One of the most important spiritual principles of the Bible is the principle of focus. It simply speaks to the fact that what we continuously behold in worship, will be what we become. If we behold and study God’s fiery love for us, our hearts will become fiery with love for God. When we behold the emotions of God, we receive truths about how God feels about human beings; about you and me individually, about our destinies, our personalities, our likes and dislikes… we find our place in His heart. We can certainly connect with mysteries that are beyond finding out and behold the majesty of God. But when we focus upon Jesus and see Him as He is, we receive of His fullness with greater clarity… and we begin to change.

The Key to Transformation:

The Apostle Paul wrote of this spiritual principle as a key to transformation… as we behold the glory of the Lord we are transformed, “from glory to glory”. This very basic principle is a  foundation to the Biblical theology of heart transformation. It is what made David a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). Simply stated, whatever we behold or understand about God’s heart toward us, is what we become in our hearts toward God. If we behold a mean stingy God, we will become mean and stingy. But if we behold His glory, as the Apostle Paul wrote, the Holy Spirit will transforms us.

Pursue the Heart of God!

By pressing into God’s emotions through study and a personal pursuit of a relationship with Him, we find our place in His heart. We become men and women captured by His heart. If we behold what David beheld about God, we would live as he lived, and we would carry our hearts before God as he did. The things David, Moses or even Adam beheld in God’s heart are still there, available and awe-inspiring; as they have been throughout history. God invites us to behold the very thing these powerful men experienced. We can behold the reality of God’s emotions every time we look into the face of Jesus, our Savior and Friend… He is the glory of the invisible God (2 Cor. 4:6)(Heb. 1:1-3).

Focus that Experiences God’s Emotions:

When we begin to understand God’s emotions for us, corresponding emotions are quickened in our hearts. This is often referred to in the Bible as “His Countenance” (Ps. 89:14-15) or “His Face” (Num. 6:24-26). The same emotions we gaze upon in His Face are within His heart and they come alive in our own hearts. We reflect them back to Him. For example, when we behold the passion in God’s heart for us, our own heart starts to feel passion toward Him. In the Bible John tells us that we have passion for Him, because we first understood His passion for us (1 Jn. 4:19). We enjoy God more by searching out and convincing ourselves of God’s enjoyment of us.

One of the most amazing revelations of my life came when I began to experience and really feel God’s embrace of me… to realize that God was not just loving me, but He liked being with me, because He truly liked “me”!

The Unveiled Face:

Think about it for a moment… how do our hearts become alive? How do we get free from the addictions, strongholds and pain of the past? It was the Apostle Paul who taught believers to seek renewal by receiving knowledge of the image of God (Col. 3:10). It was in the face to face encounters that change took place in Moses, David and Isaiah. Spiritual transformation and the renewing of the mind will only happen through revelation knowledge, which is the knowledge of God’s heart bursting into our own hearts. This beholding principle is the miracle God spoke about when He said He would write a new law upon our hearts (Jer. 31:33)… “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

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