Sometimes you’re in a battle, and sometimes you just feel like a weight is bearing down on you, immobilizing you. The King James Version of the Bible calls this a “spirit of heaviness.” The English Standard Version calls it a “faint spirit.” No matter the description that fits you best, our Savior has given us a great exchange. Michael W. Smith sings about it in his song, “Surrounded (Fight My Battles).”
Explore Isaiah 61 with me as put on the garment of praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness.
Taking a B.I.T.E. out of Scripture – this week’s Bible Interaction Tool Exercises include:
Write out Scripture
Speak Scripture aloud
Follow the cross-references
Make a list
Michael W. Smith’s reference to Isaiah 61 in the opening of his song
The terrible exchange of a spring of living water for a broken cistern in Jeremiah 2
The glorious exchanges listed in Isaiah 61:1-3
The proven battle plan of leading out in praise – 2 Chronicles 20
Putting on the garment of praise through singing, speaking, journaling, praying and remembering
Perhaps you are suffering from a faint spirit. Remember that Christ was anointed to bring you the good news and a gift…a garment of praise in exchange for your faint spirit. Read Isaiah 61 this week and explore all of the details it offers us while using the Episode 282 to give you the tools to do so. Put on the garment of praise this week. Ponder through singing, write out Scripture, speak out Scripture, incorporate Scripture into your prayers, and call out to God all that He has done for you.
It’s important to stop and remember the Lord. I don’t do that nearly enough. I’m always on to the next thing. The people of God needed to do this as well. Instructions in this matter were even left for us to benefit from as well.
Join me in Deuteronomy as we take a moment to pause to remember what the Lord has taught us.
We can learn so much through the study of the names of God. Hillsong Worship’s song, “What a Beautiful Name,” puts the name of Jesus front and center in a moving song of worship. How much more powerful will this song be when you invest some time in discovering and contemplating a few names revealed in God’s Word?
In difficult seasons of life we often seek to know “why,” or even blame someone or something as if it makes it all better. This week’s song “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott is a moving ballad of surrender to the will of a God we can trust. I use this song to introduce us to Hagar, who had to do a little submitting to God’s will herself.
I find it so interesting that Hagar gets to name God in this section of God’s Word.
We live in a very self-centered society these days. I read a study recently that stated that 1 in 5 millennials would quit their job to become famous. This is not the way of Jesus, however. Casting Crowns song “Only Jesus” reminds us that “Jesus is the only name to remember.”
Join me in Psalm 115 as we join the Psalmist in comparing and contrasting God and idols (anything that sets itself up as a god in our lives).
One of my favorite names of God is El Roi — the God who Sees. While God’s sight is perfect, it’s our spiritual eyes that need attention. We’re going to talk about seeing God in everything using TobyMac’s song “Everything” as our inspiration and Scripture as our teacher.
I pray that your eyes will be opened to recognize the magnificent in the midst of the mundane.
Remembering Jesus at the Table of the Last Supper in Luke 22
There is a table that all Christians come to — the Communion Table. Jesus instituted this practice of breaking the bread and taking the cup as He reclined at a table. Sidewalk Prophets’ song “Come to the Table” calls us to “take our place by the Savior now.” I encourage you to do just that as we explore the Lord’s Supper.
Let’s spend some time in thoughtful consideration of all that the Lord’s Supper really means.
There’s a problem in our hearts that is not a new problem. We have hearts that are prone to wander from God. Hillary Scott & The Scott Family sing of this very thing in their rendition of the famous hymn, “Come Thou Fount.” These lyrics will take us on a wonderful journey through Scripture this week.
Perhaps you’ll find a place to sit and stay for awhile with the Source of all our fountains.
I love it when God weaves memories, music, and Truth together to reveal a beautiful tapestry. I often step back and think to myself, “You’ve had this picture planned all along.” Shane & Shane’s rendition of “Psalm 91 (On Eagle’s Wings)” takes me back in time. Only this time, God has something new to say through His Word in this season of my life.
We may barely get past the first verse of Psalm 91 this week, but slowing down has its benefits.
Praying for Our Unfinished Friends Using Philippians 1
It took some raw (and sometimes ugly) probing into my heart this week, but conceding to my own imperfections may just help me pray for my “work in progress” friends. Mandisa’s song “Unfinished” inspired me to seek out how Paul prayed for his friends in Philippi.
I think you’ll find the truths we delve into this week will encourage and challenge you.