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The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…
Let’s look at this Bible verse again. We reflected on it yesterday. But let’s break it down.
It reads the “Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me…”. Sovereign means supreme ruler, possessing supreme or ultimate power. So the Spirit of the Supreme Ruler was upon Isaiah. He was empowered by the ultimate Power; nothing and no one was and is greater or more powerful than this Heavenly Ruler. Not a small case “L” but an uppercase one. As a matter of fact, God is distinguished in many Bible translations as Lord in all caps [LORD] to ensure the reader understands we’re not talking about humans or other spirits that may be called by the name Lord. Nope, we’re talking to and about the Chief, the Head, not just a council member; He makes the council possible.
The prophet Isaiah spoke to the kingdom of Judah for 40 years. His messages focused on the covenant between God and the people. Isaiah wasn’t just any kind of prophet, he had connections with kings and rulers, and he provided them, counsel— not for his gain or glory, but for God’s. He had a huge responsibility and a heavy burden, and he was determined to fulfill his purpose.
When we look at line one again, we see that Isaiah said that the LORD had anointed him, which is intimate and personal; it is intentional and with a blessed stamp of approval. Anyone can be appointed to do something. An appointment means you are assigned a job or role, and it can be delegated by anyone with the authority to do so. This means that even a lower-ranking authority can appoint you to a position and just as quickly appoint you to another position. But to be anointed carries weight; there’s gravitas, and some serious thought went into selecting you. You are bound by this selection. It is not to be taken casually. It’s one thing to be given a title by someone at your church or in your company. It’s a whole other thing to be personally selected by God and given specific directives.
Isaiah was appointed as a counselor to kings, but he was anointed by the One who created those kings, by the God who made it possible for them to live. Let the weight of that nestle in your mind and heart.
Let’s look at what God anointed Isaiah to do. In line one, we see that Isaiah was held responsible for proclaiming God’s good news for the poor. Now you may think of just the financially poor, but this is also, and most importantly, the spiritually poor—those lacking a strong relationship with God, those who have been misused, abused, and discarded by others who see them as less than worthy of a dignified life.
Isaiah was sent to bind up the brokenhearted. Now how would he do this? This isn’t a literal act, a physical process. This is mental and spiritual. This required Isaiah to faithfully speak God’s words and pour into the people, filling up those cracks, to bind their hearts, and reconnecting them with God.
Isaiah was responsible for ensuring that the people saw God as their sole Provider and that the lack they saw was a falsehood. The more that they believed in and turned to God, the less they would see and believe in lack, and the more their hearts would heal and be full. When we’re fully consumed by God, we want nothing else, and we don’t see anything as missing. We are content and complete in and by Him. We are intoxicatingly in love with Him.
What else was Isaiah called to do?
We read that he was to “proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” which in the Greek Old Testament, the part that mentioned the prisoners was translated as “the blind.” Look at our historical accounts of people chosen by God to proclaim freedom for captives. It’s a battle with the captors who benefit from enslaving the people, and then there’s a battle with the enslaved who are mentally conditioned to be captives and dependent upon their captors to provide for them.
In many ways, the battle is less intense against the captor because when they surrender, they usually find a replacement or substitute slave/prisoner. However, when you’re working to break the mental and spiritual shackles of an enslaved person, it can take decades or a lifetime to recondition their mind to accept a new way of thinking, speaking, and living.
For many of them, all they have ever known is life as a slave, as a prisoner, as a victim—under the rule of another person, being told when and where to eat, sleep, work, and pray. They are blind to the reality of God’s Truth. All they know is the darkness. For many, the cravings for God’s Light were beaten out of them. For many, the human who enslaved them is their god.
Imagine taking on the responsibility of mentally and spiritually liberating hundreds and thousands of people. Not an appointment. That was an anointing. Some people will see the light and scream out, “it’s too bright,” and choose to stay in the darkness because it’s all they know, and sadly we force ourselves to find comfort in what we know, even when it doesn’t serve our needs; even when what we know deprives us and leaves us malnourished.
For 40 years, Isaiah tried to do what he was called by God to do to help his people get where they needed to be, to better prepare them for the life that God had planned for them. And guess what? Line one was only a fraction of the things he was responsible for. Continue reading Isaiah 61 to see what else he was challenged to do by a God that was confident in Isaiah’s faithfulness and obedience to get it done or die trying.
When you read the translated diaries, songs, dictated decrees, prophecies, and letters in the Old and New Testaments, take the time to slow down and place yourself in each moment, and consider the context of the events taking place and the people involved. Consider the weight these individuals carried on their backs and shoulders as they contemplated doing something they had never done before, something beyond their comprehension and imagination, and knowing that they’re doing it for the Supreme God, the big honcho.
Now consider something else, what has God called on you to do? What have you been anointed to carry out? Are you doing your part, or are you choosing to remain enslaved, imprisoned, and blind to the Truth? Are you allowing fear, other people, or life’s circumstances to rule you and be your god? Or are you putting your trust in God and backing it up with a faith walk of unwavering support for His plans?
Father, thank You. In this moment I’ve come to see a clearer picture of our relationship, of my life and my role in this world. Around me is chaos but in You there is a peaceful calm. My relationship with You is strengthened every time I choose to lean on You and not my own understanding, when I choose to turn to You instead of Your creations, and follow Your path rather than seek my own way.
I am free because of You. I am only free when I am with You, aligned with You, dependent and trusting in You.
Jesus could see the calm in the storm because he never disconnected from You. Isaiah was empowered and confident to do what You asked of him because he placed his trust in You.
You created me with a vision, and You pour into me dreams to see that vision and to warn me of the enemy’s plots, and it would break my heart to know that I’ve allowed the lies whispered and yelled in this world to distract me from doing what I’ve been called to do. You trust me and believe in me enough to place me on this path. You love me that much. Every day You remind me that You’re with me and that You have angels watching over me and intervening on my behalf. Yet I operate out of fear as though I’m doing this alone and without Your help. Forgive me Father.
I want our relationship to be everything You have said it is and I want to live my life doing everything You have placed in my heart to do. I want to be what You created me to be, fully and passionately. As You pour into me I promise to pour into others. Giving You all of the glory today and forever. I love You. I’m with You, Father. Amen.
And with that family, I pray that you are blessed, that you see and embrace your blessings, and that you are a blessing to others.
Copyright 2011-2022. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com
Music: Climb by Shane Ivers; Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com