Isaiah 61 - part #3

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach 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. To proclaim the year of the Lords favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” – Isaiah 61:1-3

My Thoughts:
I was wondering today if you're beginning to see yourself in this passage. To me, it's impossible for you see what God is saying in His Word until you see yourself in God's Word. To climb into the particular passage you're reading and to swim around in the story is by far the most important part of Bible Study. When you read it from a distance trying to extrapolate truths and tips and techniques, you rob yourself of the reward and strip the Scriptures of their narrative power. So, try it...climb into this picture you're seeing...move about in the text and ask yourself questions like, "Am I following Jesus into people's lives around me?" "Am I meeting people's needs or pointing out their faults?" "Am freeing anyone from fear, doubt, bitterness, hatred, or insecurity?" When you find yourself in the text and let the text get into your carry it with you into your day.

When I climb into this text, I can't help but make an observation. It's important to note that a brokenhearted person will look like nothing of the sort half the time. They won't be grovelling in their own hurt and shovelling out the shattered shards of their glass heart when you meet them. They will be composed a lot of the time. They will be funny, together, balanced and well-to-do. They will be good communicators and better showmen. They won't let on for a second that their world is falling apart and that significant chunks of their heart are hanging by a thread. They won't go there. They won't crack open the fear, the wounds, the hangups and harrassment. They won't throw you a bone if you ask them if there's anything wrong under the hood. They will be looking snazzy and slick...on the outside.

When you are looking for a person imprisoned in need of freedom, you won't often know it when you're met one of these slippery buggers. They often time seem to be the most liberated people in the room. But often what appears to be free-spirited is often free-falling. They make their appearance as a calm and collected enjoyer of life. They party hard. They have tons of friends. They are always on the go. They are making and spending money with the best of them. They drive nice cars and wear nice clothes. They even tithe and clap when the worship leader goads them to do so. They smile when something's funny and laugh when they're caught off gaurd. But know this, behind the folds of the drawn curtain there is an addict, a soul dependent on the drug of something to hold them together. They have their own defaults and coping mechanisms to maintain survival. They have escaped hatches and evasive tactics giving them an out when reality is too much to bear.

And people that think they can see...always pontificating about this and that like they've been there and done that...they are blind as bats more than not. In fact, Jesus said that when people think they can see, what they don't realize is that they are unknowly showing their cards of myopia at best, blindness at worst. Fast talkers, big talkers, know-it-alls...they just aren't what they appear. You wanna know why I know this? I am one at times. I can come aross all "richo and suave'" and yet be walking on pins and needles in my heart nursing deep insecurity and binding up blindness under the wraps of refinement.

So today, when you're out looking for brokeness and blindness and bondage...look no further than yourself. And that guys working next to you or that woman in the cubical beside you...they are more messed up that they look...beleive me.


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