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; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 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.
I am writing to you this week from about 35,000 feet - roughly 7 miles up - in the air.
Two of my children and I are returning from a visit to North Carolina with my sister and her family. My younger boys have never flown before, and one of the most wonderful parts of our journey is showing them what it is like to soar above the clouds, in a place where bright daylight is radiant no matter what the weather below. We took off in a fog; we now soar in a luminescent sky with pillow-like clouds that beg us to somehow step out and walk upon them!
The contrast is amazing. My boys have loved every minute of their flights to and fro, with the change in perspective they bring. To be "above and not beneath" (Deuteronomy 28:13) is a blessing indeed, and it started with a simple choice to shift our focus.
A unique opportunity to travel, along with a decision to invest in relationships with family we rarely see, compelled us to leave familiar surroundings and embark on our adventure this week. I am so glad we did! Too often our focus on the familiar keeps us from a more glorious future!
This is true of spiritual things, too.
When Israel spied out the Promised Land they saw themselves as grasshoppers, not conquerors. Their "familiar" perspective - deeply engrained after years of oppression in Egypt - caused such depression and fear that they honestly believed it would be better for them to return to slavery than to enter a land that flowed with milk and honey!
These complaining Jews saw themselves as nothing more than insignificant insects to be trampled upon. Their fearful focus filled them with a daily dread of extinction. They didn't understand a simple truth:
What you focus on determines the quality of your life!
Only Joshua and Caleb had the courage to shift their focus to victory instead of defeat, believing that God could fulfill His promises. As a result, only Joshua and Caleb lived to inherit their promised land - everyone else of their generation died in the wilderness. Ouch!
What was their key? I love the statement Joshua makes in Joshua 24:15: "Choose this day whom you will serve... But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
MAKE YOUR CHOICE!
Just as my boys and I chose to yield to a "divine interruption" and break out of our familiar patterns and schedules, so you have a choice to make: will you live life at the top or the bottom? Above the clouds or stuck in the rain? In fear or by faith? By the Spirit or by the flesh?
Isaiah prophesies of a brilliant place in the Spirit, saying: "Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." (Isaiah 60:1-3)
The moment you choose to rise up and live in the realm of the Spirit, forsaking familiar ways of the flesh, God's glory arises in you! Darkness dissipates and you see and hear God more clearly. Not only that, but the radiance of heaven becomes so visible in your life that it has a magnetic effect: people from around the world are drawn to who you are IN HIM! (See also Psalm 34:5.)
A YOKE-BREAKING ANOINTING
Shifting your focus is not for you alone! As a prophetic people we are called to declare the praises of God to a dark and dreary generation. You carry a yoke-breaking anointing!
So many people are trapped beneath clouds of despair and depression. Your choice to pursue God daily in prayer is the "shift" that empowers you to rise above your circumstances and gain heaven's perspective. The revelation and glory you receive in the atmosphere of the Spirit enables you to return to the familiar world with new insight and power.
When Moses descended from a meeting with God on Mount Sinai, a veil was placed over his face to keep Israel from gazing upon the blinding radiance of the glory of the Lord. This occurred under the "ministry of death," the Old Covenant law of condemnation. (2 Corinthians 3)
The New Covenant ministry of the Spirit today far surpasses that glory! Isaiah 61 reads:
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. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 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. ~Isaiah 61:1-3, NKJV
As I meditated on these verses recently, I heard the Lord rephrase them this way:
"You have a good-news preaching,
Because the Spirit of the Lord is upon you!"
WALK ON THE WINDS!
You are a servant of the New Covenant and a new perspective on life, which comes when you shift your focus onto God's Spirit. You are called to soar! Your daily choice to walk on the winds of the Spirit with God (see Psalm 18:10) empowers you, in return, to shower the earth with blessings and release life everywhere you go.
As I finish writing this post, I am humbled once again by a sudden thought. I hear the Lord whisper in my ear, "What are the names of the two children you just "happened" to travel with this week?"
With a start, I look up and realize:
The names of my sons are Joshua and Caleb!
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com. Photo credit: Sam Spooler and Ng of Unsplash
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.