The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me

Isaiah 61:1-3(NLT)

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,

    for the Lord has anointed me

    to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted

    and to proclaim that captives will be released

    and prisoners will be freed.

He has sent me to tell those who mourn

    that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,

    and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.

To all who mourn in Israel,

    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,

a joyous blessing instead of mourning,

    festive praise instead of despair.

In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks

    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

Verse 1-3 put Jesus’ words into the mouth of the prophet Isaiah.

Luke 4:16-22(NLT)16 When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. 17 The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:(Which is Isaiah 61:1-3)

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,

    that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,

19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

20 He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. 21 Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”

When Jesus said that, it must have freaked out the gathered crowd. Luke tells us that before this encounter was over, the synagogue crowd turned into a lynch mob, and tried to kill Him.

Jesus was reading a passage that everyone in the temple knew was in reference to the much-longed for prophesied Messiah, who would deliver Israel from their oppressors and bring justice to the world. And then He said, “That Messiah that Isaiah spoke of? You’re looking at Him.” Jesus was saying that He was the fulfillment of the prophecies about the Heaven-sent Deliverer. He is stating one of the  most explicit statements in Scripture about the ancient prophecies speak of in the coming of Christ.

Watch what Jesus sys at His very first Sermon!

The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me (how awesome to name the Trinity first!), because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. That is His purpose. It pulls everything else together.

He has good news for those who are poor( as in those without anything), humble, lowly, the needy, the afflicted. Christ looks for those who have been passed over, the outcasts, who realize that they need Someone to rescue them. He comes for those who know they are sick, not for those who think they are well. The Church is a Hospital for the sinners, Not a country club for those who are well. He has good news for those who realize just how desperately they need a Savior.

1. He comforts the brokenhearted

He has sent Me to heal/comfort the brokenhearted. Isaiah is speaking to some people who are about to see their nation topple. The Temple will be demolished. Everything they knew would be gone. Would God be their Helper in that day? “Does He care about what I’m going through?” The message of Isaiah is, “He will be there to bind up the wounds of your heart.” He cares. He knows what you’re going through. He will be there for you. But what HE is about to do(go to the cross) is greater than what any of us will ever go through.

But on a deeper, spiritual level, this speaks of those who are broken over their sin, grieved over what they have done to God and against God. Can God forgive me? Will He take me in when He knows what I’ve been doing, been saying, been thinking? Yes, He will.

2. He will set captives free

He has sent Me . . . proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. For the people of Judah, deportation meant living as slaves to a foreign, pagan power. You have no will, no say, no vote. You are under the mastery of another. Can anyone rescue me, break the chains of my slavery?

And spiritually, this speaks of the captivity of sin. We are slaves to our father the Devil, says God’s Word. But not any more!

3. He will restore what has been taken away

Verse 2: He has sent me . . . that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. The year of the Lord’s favor is a reference to the “Year of Jubilee.” The provision of the Law was that every 50th year, all the slaves were to be set free, all debts cancelled, and all land sold or taken for debt returned. It would be like having all your credit cards paid off, your mortgage canceled, and your debts settled.

This “Year of Jubilee” was meant to be an Old Testament picture of salvation through Christ! When a Christian is saved he is set free from his sins (his sin debt is cancelled), from the devil (to whom he had been enslaved to), and from his sinful nature, and now the Lord begins to restore to him the years that he had squandered when he was away from the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:16-20 (HCSB)16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”

To understand the new creation, first we must grasp that it is in fact a creation, something created by God. John 1:13 tells us that this new birth was brought about by the will of God. We did not inherit the new nature, nor did we decide to re-create ourselves anew, nor did God simply clean up our old nature; He created something entirely fresh and unique. The new creation is completely new, brought about from nothing, just as the whole universe was created by God ex nihilo, from nothing. Only the Creator could accomplish such a feat.

Second, “old things have passed away.” The “old” refers to everything that is part of our old nature—natural pride, love of sin, reliance on our works, former opinions, habits and passions. Most significantly, what we loved has passed away, especially the supreme love of self and with it self-righteousness, self-promotion, and self-justification. The new creature looks outwardly toward Christ instead of inwardly toward self. The old things died, nailed to the cross with our sin nature.

Along with the old passing away, “the new has come!” Old, dead things are replaced with new things, full of life and the glory of God. The newborn soul delights in the things of God and abhors the things of the world and the flesh. Our purposes, feelings, desires, and understandings are fresh and different. We see the world differently. The Bible seems to be a new book, and though we may have read it before, there is a beauty about it which we never saw before, and which we wonder at not having perceived. There are new feelings toward all people—a new kind of love toward family and friends, a new compassion never before felt for enemies, and a new love for all mankind.

The things we once loved, we now detest. The sin we once held onto, we now desire to put away forever. We “put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9), and put on the “new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)

To all who mourn in Israel,

    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,

a joyous blessing instead of mourning,

    festive praise instead of despair.

In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks

    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

The crown of beauty for ashes is better translated as “A right thinking mind instead of a mind in despair. When the people were in despair/mourning they cover their heads in ashes and dress in sackcloth. Romans 12:2 (ESV) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

He will give us a new transformed beautiful way of thinking instead of the old nasty guilt ridden way we thought before.

Guilt is what takes place when a person realizes their failure. False guilt, which is what Satan is known to throw at us, is where the sin has been repented of and forgiven, but he still wants us to feel guilty or see ourselves associated with our pasts. We are speaking of false guilt(condemnation), because true guilt(conviction) should prompt the person to repent and turn from their sin, but false guilt is what Satan uses to rip apart the lives of countless believers around the world.

Condemnation is from the enemy and pulls you away from God, 

Conviction is from the Holy Spirit and draws you closer to God.

While guilt is seeing what you’ve done, shame is seeing yourself as a failure because of what you’ve done. Guilt is looking at the sin, shame is looking at yourself. If you allow yourself to meditate upon guilt, it will turn into shame. Guilt, if not properly dealt with, turns into a stronghold called shame.

Meditating on false guilt builds strongholds

If we continue to think about our past failures, it will wear us down spiritually, and the next thing the enemy aims at is getting the picture of ourselves distorted. He wants us to look at our past failures so much that we begin to see ourselves as failures!

Anybody who has been thinking about their past sins for long will begin to see themselves as dirty sinners and failures. The complete opposite of what they really are, providing they have repented of their sins and turned to God!

Shame is one of those things that the Bible speaks of as an imagination/human reasoning that must be cast down:

2 Corinthians 10:4-5(NLT)4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Shame and guilt are based upon deception, which is the opposite of truth. So how are we supposed to worship God in Spirit and truth, if there are imaginations hanging around in our minds that are contrary to the truth?

John 4:24(NLT) For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”How do we defeat or overcome guilt and shame?

You need to stop thinking about your past failures. Are you ignoring them? No! You are ignoring a lie, not the sin, because the sin has been dealt with and washed away. Therefore, you are meditating on something that no longer exists! If your sins are in the depths of the ocean, then why are you still thinking about them?

Micah 7:19(NLT)Once again you will have compassion on us.

    You will trample our sins under your feet

    and throw them into the depths of the ocean!

You need to stop focusing on the problem (which has been dealt with), and begin to praise God for the solution to the problem, and think about how you have been washed clean from those failures! We can believe that the blood of Jesus can forgive us of the sins BEFORE we got saved but most of us don’t think it can cover the ones we made yesterday.
Instead of meditating on a lie, begin to meditate on the truth in God’s Word concerning your past failures.

Isaiah 1:18,“Come now, let’s settle this,”says the Lord.“Though your sins are like scarlet,I will make them as white as snow.Though they are red like crimson,I will make them as white as wool.

1 John 1:9 (NLT)9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Romans 8:1-2(NLT) So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

Psalms 103:2-6(NLT) “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! 6 The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.”

When the devil says your no good remind him of 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

Disassociate yourself from your past!

Why do you think God wanted us to be new creations? Because He did not want your past to be a part of you anymore!

Psalms 103:12(NLT)He has removed our sins as far from us

    as the east is from the west.

Now that our past failures have been forgiven, we need to leave them there and press forward towards the things God has for us:

Philippines 3:12-13(NLT)12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[d] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 

Not only are we supposed to forget our pasts, but God Himself has chosen to completely forget our sins as well!

Hebrews 8:12 (NLT) And I will forgive their wickedness,

    and I will never again remember their sins.”

When the devil says your not saved just tell him I know I’m saved because I was there when it happened.

When the devil says to worry, just remind him that God said don’t worry about anything

When the devil says be sick just tell him by his stripes I am healed

When he says be afraid remind him God said my peace I give to you.

When he says be defeated you say we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Isaiah 60:18(ESV)Violence shall no more be heard in your land,

    devastation or destruction within your borders;

you shall call your walls Salvation,

    and your gates Praise.

God is surrounded in a city, by a wall called salvation. The way to get into that city is through the gate of praise.

We don’t gain access to his presence by needs and petitions but by praise.

2 Chronicles 20:21)HCSB)Then he consulted with the people and appointed some to sing for the LORD and some to praise the splendor of His holiness. When they went out in front of the armed forces, they kept singing: Give thanks to the LORD, for His faithful love endures forever.

It is easy to send the band in to praise AFTER you won the war. God told Israel to send in Judah first, Judah means praise. You always send praise in first no matter what you are going through, You PRAISE the Lord. Nothing that you are going through is greater than what He went through to save you. Some people need a revelation that Hell is real and He saved you from going there, if that ain’t a reason to praise then nothing is.

When you end praise and worship in first you are disarming the enemy! You are inviting God to deal with the defeated enemy.

We cannot wait for ideal circumstances to show up for us to praise God. There will never be an ideal time when everything is perfect.

It could be the recent tragedies or trials feel so heavy that it’s hard to imagine any good thing coming your way, and you can barely hear His voice, calling so tenderly, Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28-29(NLT)28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” He stands ready to restore what has been taken away, to set you free from self-imposed addictions and the slavery of sin. He longs to heal your brokenness. Come!


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