I have realized that I have experienced a feeling of oppression and heaviness that is unusual for me. It has been coming on for a while and in the last few days I have acknowledged it and am taking authority over it.
There are SO many things in this life I simply do not understand … this morning the news that a friend has a brain tumor, a married couple who are good friends of ours are both very ill with Covid, the daughter of friends who is suffering the trauma of rape, another dear friend whose husband is on hospice and will soon be face to face with Jesus, another friend with a teenage pregnant daughter, more restrictions coming on us because of Covid and yet thousands are being allowed into our country with no restrictions at all, the economy … the list could go on and on. And yet, God’s Word tell us we are NOT to be anxious over ANYTHING … His Word also tells us that He has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind!
So how do we cope? For one thing there is a chorus we used to sing in the 70’s … “Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, lift up your voice to God. Sing in the spirit and with understanding, O magnify the Lord.”
Therein is the secret sauce … LIFT up our voice to God. Now I often will pray in my head and I know He hears those prayers but there are times when we must LIFT UP, out loud, our voice to God. So what if others hear … it might do them some good also! Secondly, in I Corinthians 14:15 we are told to sing in the spirit as well as the understanding. Now that “spirit” is not capitalized which means we sing with OUR spirit but I believe we also sing in His Spirit which is with languages of the Spirit. Look at the rest of that verse, “and I will ALSO sing with the understanding.” So I do believe we are to pray and sing IN the Spirit, in our spirit and with our understanding. It is most difficult to sing praises and worship Him and keep a spirit of heaviness!
Why pray and sing in the Spirit? I am quoting here from the notes in my Spirit-Filled Life Bible, “Paul reveals the place of tongues in his own personal prayer life. Praying in tongues is praying from the spirit instead of the intellect, and the same is true of singing praises. For Paul, praying and singing, both in tongues and in everyday language, were normal and regular parts of prayer and praise. There is no suggestion of hysteria, emotionalism, or abnormality of any kind.”
Thirdly, I Corinthians 14:4, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself”. Edify: to instruct or benefit; uplift. So singing and praying in the Spirit builds up our internal disposition to offset discouragement, depression, oppression, etc.
Fourth … PUT ON the armor of God. These are defensive weapons … I like to think that first is the helmet of salvation because without salvation we can’t claim to use the rest of the armor! The breastplate of righteousness (His righteousness) covers our chest, heart and internal organs; the belt of truth (His truth as shown in the Word of God) holds the breastplate in position; wielding the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (so ya’ all gotta’ know the Word!) so we can FIGHT off the enemy; the shield of faith to stop those fiery darts that the enemy shoots at us; and then finally to walk with our feet in shoes of peace! Wow … you know there is a whole series of study in these admonishments! (Ephesians 6:10-20.)
I referred earlier to being anxious over nothing … now THAT is a hard one! Who of us have never worried or been anxious over nothing! I certainly cannot raise my hand!! Philippians 4:6-8 is being burnt into my brain and heart. “Be anxious for nothing, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, WITH THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God; AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (caps obviously are mine!) Yes, I pray and I supplicate but how much THANKS do I offer? I guess I need to do that more so I can hold on to the peace He has to give!
Finally, we must walk in faith … faith in God that HE is in control of our lives. That doesn’t mean that everything will be as He wants it to be because we can make decisions contrary to His will but if we repent and confess He can turn things around to our good.
Faith … confidence or trust in the person of God! To have faith in God you must KNOW Him. Let me list here a few verses …
Matthew 6:30, “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith.”
Mark 11:22 (Jesus speaking), “Have faith in God”. Some scholars say it should have been translated “Have the faith OF God”. Again notes from the SFLB, “The positive lesson to be learned from the cursing of the fig tree is the power of believing prayer. A mountain is symbolic of an obstacle, hindrance, or insurmountable problem. Faith is the key that releases the resources of heaven into our situation.”
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (get out your Bible and read the entire chapter!) to see all the things FAITH accomplished … and more! It’s awesome!
Finally, and I truly LOVE this verse, Hebrews 12:1 & 2, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside EVERY weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher OF OUR FAITH … “ Folks, it is not our faith! We cannot conjure up enough faith for anything … it is HIS FAITH in us!
We are in a spiritual battle … a real warfare … for our personal life, for our families and for America! I am determined to fight the fear that wants to invade my spirit and lay hold of HIS FAITH! Just think of it … It’s HIS faith! He has given us HIS faith! Grab onto it!