The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor (Isaiah 61:1-2).
I have heard these words recited over and over for the past three nights with an emphasis unlike I’ve ever heard them before. No, I did not finish the second verse but neither did Jesus when he emerged from the wilderness anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit to boldly speak these words in the hearing of the deaf; spiritually deaf that is. So I began to think on them; on how significant these words are over two thousand years later. Jesus is still bringing good news to the poor, He is still healing the brokenhearted, He is still setting the captives free, and prison doors continue to fold in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Oh how wrong you are; you who say “I am not poor, never been brokenhearted, has never been a captive, nor have I ever been in prison”. Yet you are quick to declare the Lord’s favor in your lives.
Since Cain, sin has been crouching at the door but God promises us in Genesis 4:7 that if we do well, we will be accepted. This same sin causes many to be spiritually bankrupt, broken, bound, and imprisoned in a world that does not enjoy the Lord’s favor. But by the blood of Jesus, we have overcome sin and “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Yes, if we believe and learn to activate the Holy Spirit we can move mountains for it is not by our hands that these things are accomplished, but by Him who lives in us; by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God continues to pour out His spirit on us, even in these days when so many are deaf to the Spirit and skeptical of His word. In a time when faith is simply an after thought; a nice conversation starter when God has already moved miraculously even when others were leaning on hope for the answer. The time is coming and is upon us when Jesus will unfold the rest of Isaiah’s scroll and continue reading:
“and the day of the vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness. The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:2-3).
So will you continue to shake your head at the faith of the saints and the power of the Holy Spirit? Will you continue to deny the Spirit access to your heart while leaving the gates, door, and windows open to demons and their seed of doubt? Or, will you believe in the promises of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ so that when He returns you will escape his vengeance and instead be given a new headdress and be wrapped in the garment of praise?
God will be glorified and by His grace, we will receive the oil of gladness and all that he has stored up for us. This is my confidence for all his saints!