A very simple, very fundamental practice and power I want to remind you of in the Christian faith today… Remember to mantle yourself daily with praise!
1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.â€
There’s a lot here that I feel like I could spend a whole book expounding on in the spirit of revelation, but for this written article I wish to simply encourage you to practice these verses (in particular verse three). There is heaviness that will try to overtake you in this life, but our weapons in God are mighty for the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor.10:4)! One of the most powerful weapons we’ve been given is praise!
Recently, I had something come up that absolutely ruined my day. When I say it ruined my day, I mean that it triggered me emotionally and rendered me (what felt like) incapable of focusing or getting anything else done the rest of the day. So not only was I feeling depressed and sad about what I had learned, but to pile it on, I felt even worse because I’m a very productive person who has a strong value for my daily work unto the Lord, and providing for my family, and it felt like I wasted my day.
When I woke up the next morning, as is my custom, I began to journal about what had happened the day before. While I was writing out what I could have done differently (because I’m always looking for ways to improve, ways to do things better, and ways to be more optimal with my time and decisions); at that moment I felt the Spirit of God was saying this to me:
Stephen, you need to remember to use the weapon of praise during such times.
The world may call it depression, but I call it a spirit. It is the spirit of heaviness.
This spirit of heaviness is designed to put you into an emotional state that robs you of time, productivity, joy, and life itself. Don’t let it.
Use the weapon of praise to change your state. Use the mantle of praise to break the spirit of heaviness that tries to rest on you from life’s difficulties, and shift your state back into the glory realm.
Praise is how you enter my house (Ps.100:4), and if you continue to praise and then move into worship then you can live from the glory realm; you can abide in the house of the Lord forever (Ps.27:4), continually, and in my courts is power. In my presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Ps.16:11).
It’s basic Christianity, but how often are the most powerful things in our faith the basics, and how often do they get overlooked?!
God has beauty for ashes that comes from the anointing of the Holy Spirit which we experience when we enter into his presence. Beauty for ashes is like a flower that comes out of the remnants of a fire. The ashes represent death. With ashes there has been a complete chemical and molecular transformation from the original state of the matter that was consumed by the fire. What’s left of that matter is in the ash and also in the air, in the form of a gas, as it has been converted to smoke and thermal energy in the form of heat. In other words, it is physically impossible, this side of eternity with the natural laws we work with here on earth, to bring beauty out of those ashes; to bring forth a rose from that which has been destroyed by fire. But that is who our God is! He’s the God of the impossible, He’s the God of the miraculous, and He’s the God that brings life and beauty out of death and certainty!
God has an “oil of joy” for your “mourning” when you choose to praise, and when you choose to live in and from his presence. Oil is the anointing, and the anointing is the grace and power of God. God gives to you an anointing, a supernatural power that is part of God’s own power, to overcome mourning in your life. Mourning is the negative emotion in this verse, and heaviness is the spirit that comes through it. You need to mantle yourself with praise to break it, and enter into the courts of the Lord.
There are two parts to the downward spirals we experience in life that result in bad behavior, and in some cases sinful behavior if we don’t identify what’s happening and overcome it. There is the emotional trigger and then the heaviness that follows. The emotional trigger puts you into an ungodly toxic state, and in that state you’re capable of sinful behavior that is outside of your character and the character of God, and it only gets worse the more you don’t deal with it.
Murder is not the problem, it’s the state that someone has to get into through having no control over the soul that is the root issue which leads to the sin of murder. Adultery is not the problem. It’s the state that someone has to get into through having no control over their soul that is the root issue which leads to the sin of adultery. Making poor financial decisions is not the problem. It’s the state that someone has to get into through having no control over their soul that is the root issue which leads to the sin of making poor financial decisions.
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
“Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.”
“Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.”
Do you see the progression of an ungoverned emotional state which leads to sinful destructive behavior? If you do not come up with a way to manage your own soul, your own spirit, and your own emotions, then you will be like a city without walls. You will be unable to keep your heart with all diligence from which flows the issues of life (Prov.4:23). I suggest you take control of your spirit and soul God’s way. God’s way is through praise, worship, and presence. God’s way is to shift the state of your temple back into the glory realm away from the storms of life when they come.
Notice the progression from verse one to three in (Is.61). This is the famous passage that Jesus quoted from in (Luke 4:18-19) when He walked into the synagogue, picked up the scroll, and read from it concerning his own life and ministry and what He was fulfilling presently in their sight. Jesus has done the hard work saints! He came as the ultimate forerunner, to forerun this life in the flesh, being worthy of receiving the fullness of the Spirit which the Father only entrusts to sons (Jn.3:34). He took on the anointing in our flesh and broke the power sin in our own flesh, for our own lives lived here in the flesh upon the earth. We can now vicariously enter in through his flesh and live from the glory realm while here on the earth (Jn.3:13). At any moment we can stop, take authority over our state, and begin to praise and worship the Lord in spirit and in truth in the temple of the Lord which God has transformed our vessels into (Jn.4:23). We don’t have to wait til’ we get to the right mountain in Jerusalem at the right time of year anymore. We are the temple, we are carriers of his presence and glory. We don’t have to live under the weight and conditions of sin any longer because He came to set the captives free!
If you are always living under the power of negative emotions such as anger, depression, shame, and fear; if you are continually walking around with heaviness, then you are not living the life that God intended for you in Christ. You are not living in the victory of sons and daughters through the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s time to start!
Before Jesus entered into the victory of the cross himself, which appeared to be a failure to the carnal mind, the bible says He entered into Jerusalem through a procession of thanksgiving and praise. The people waved their palm tree branches and threw them at his feet in praise. They shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” in praise (Matt.21:9). He entered through praise into the blessing of redemption for mankind which He would accomplish for us, and we enter into those blessings today the same way. We must live mantled in the power of praise and the power of his presence so we can live from his world, so we can live from his reality. God’s reality is not being overcome everyday by the spirit of depression and heaviness. God gets sad (Gen.6:5-8), God gets angry (Is.5:25), but God does not stay there and let those emotions dominate Him, or take him somewhere that is beneath His character away from His perfect plan, so neither should we. The next time you find yourself being triggered emotionally, and the next time you see it taking you into unhealthy behavior and lifestyle choices, make a conscious choice to change your state with praise.
Many people in the church don’t allow their emotional triggers to lead them into sexual sin or things like drug abuse, but many people in the church allow those emotions to lead them into things like gluttony and unhealthy eating choices. Gluttony is the sin of choice for many Christians, because it feels like a sin that’s easier to get away with. It’s a more forgivable sin in our eyes then if the church finds out you're sleeping with your secretary who isn’t your wife. Don’t live that way. God has intended so much more for you. You can overcome these things by the power of the blood, the word of your testimony, and through the mantle of praise and presence! Tap into that oil, that power that comes with joy! Tap into that joy which fills his presence, and put on that mantle of praise by an act of your will everyday. Praise him in the dance, praise him with your mouth, praise him with your hands lifted high to heaven, and watch as the anointing breaks the spirit of heaviness that you’ve been living under. Let God’s joy be your strength (Neh.8:10), and go forth in 2022 as never before, overcoming with the weapons of your warfare that are mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds!
In His Service,
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