Notes/not complete text (working on it since 4/08 when I shared it with my Tuesday prayer group and still working on it… it just keeps expanding)
oh well…I love Isaiah 58
VERY RELEVANT TO TODAY
Declare- like reveal, unwrap. Show them where they are rebellious.
So much…there is all this on the outside it looks good, but on the inside it is not real and God begins to challenge the plastic religion.
Thru vs 2….you see it is the appearances. On the outside it looks good and looks like God. USA…God bless America. We have that on our dollar bill. We seem a God-based nation…but then it is like the spirit of God begins to challenge us on a personal level and say come on it might look good, but I want the real deal. I really want it to be an internal passion not some external thing.
There is almost this attitude that comes from us that says “God owes me, you know I am doing a good deal of work for God here” Look what I am giving to God. I am giving my tithe and an offering, I am helping out in this ministry…Come on God now you owe me. And it is very easy to get into that mentality when we start doing anything that involves sacrifice on our part….whether it is fasting, or serving or doing Bible study or whatever…We start out with the right intentions.
Vs. 3 1st part
I am doing a lot for God. We sometimes even hear that from our families. Why are you doing that? Why are you spending so much time at church and giving the church so much? And so that way of thinking can begin to get inside of us. Come on God, you owe me….but come on lets be real the God of all heaven and earth He owes me nothing. And this kind of attitude and motivation can be very in your face but it can also be very, very subtle. But here it says come on we need to raise our voice up. Come to the battle lines.
Begin to define what is right, what is wrong, where the boundaries are, what is happening. This is righteousness. This is truth. And we need to really look at where some ungodly attitudes and sounds and motivations have begun to take us off balance a little bit.
Vs 3 last part
God is saying this….even though it looks so good, praying, fasting, we all love God, in God we trust…actually it is self motivated, not of God. bc really it is still about what makes me feel good and if God is being good to me. And so if God doesn’t really respond in the way I want and I like then how does it say your fasting or your time of seeking ends? quarreling and strife. Anger.
One of the first places that we can end up fighting is w/ God himself. God I have done this, I done 21 day Daniel fast or I have exercised every day while listening to the audio bible podcast and nothing happened…Look I should have some credits, where are my rewards? It’s not fair, God you owe me. And we can end up offended at God after a time of seriously seeking him. So God is saying, come on Melissa, it is time to address some of these things.
Isaiah 58 such a transition scripture between Isaiah 35 where we read about the desert and the wilderness and He promises to breakthrough w/ water to Isaiah 49 where he is restoring to Isaiah 50, 52, 54 where he is saying come on sing though you are still barren b/c something is getting ready to happen and then Isaiah 58 where we are is an attitude check….right before arise, shine for your light has come in Isaiah 60 and the Glory of the Lord is upon you to Isaiah 61…the spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon you b/c he is mandating you to go and preach the Good News to the Kingdom. To set the captives free and open the blind eye and then in Isaiah 62 you will no longer be called desolate.
So this is Isaiah 58 and God is saying you and I are in transition from the desert place to the glory place…He is saying come on…you have done the desert stuff, now do the attitude stuff so you can do the glory stuff. So you can be my disciples.
He wants us to declare a breakthrough for ourselves, for Life Church, for this community and for our nation. So to go from the deserts and the hunger to be a glory carrier a breakthrough carrier, what do you have to do? It says begin to declare…don’t hold back. Begin to sound the sound that matters to you. Deal with everything that is compromised.
Have to deal with those attitudes. Have I been offended w/ God? Is there anything in me that says God I have worked hard, I have sacrificed and you didn’t give me what I expected? I have done my part, where are you? And we all have to hit that. I believe we all go through seasons where God offends our minds, to reveal our hearts. When he doesn’t do it our way. He does delay. He does seem to disappoint. He does seem to just disappear. And then what happens. Where does our seeking him go? What happens to it? Does it turn into anger, strife, bitterness. Are we raising our voices or our fists?
And God is saying come on, I am testing you. Raise your voice like a trumpet; declare it to a rebellious people. You know that attitude that just says I am going to sit here and check it out first. You know in worship when He says and you can clearly hear Him in your heart… just raise your hands and you say…nope I will do it when I feel like it. No one tells me what to do. Or when He says just press in and you say I’ll step back and watch, thank you. DISCLAIMER There is all that stuff that is really saying, I am just checking God out. And God says come on, there is too much at stake to play games. How about with our egos and our preferences. Will we lay them all down or are we just going to make sure that all this seeking is just going to end up in what I like? Or is going to advance the kingdom? And we can find ourselves battling and fighting. Fighting with ourselves, fighting with God. Fighting with each other. Your fasting ends up in fighting and quarreling. And God is asking us to examine our hearts. He wants to ask, when you come out of a time of praying and seeking how do you come out of it. Are the fruits of it a negative toward God or the church or the leadership or your neighbor or is the fruit of it good fruit? b/c that is a good assessment of where our heart is. And maybe our hearts needs to get broken until we are willing and able to say, you know what God any price, anytime, anywhere. You cannot seek with a negative attitude or any offense and expect your voice to penetrate heaven.
I really want to know my voice gets through so I have to ask God to deal with my heart, deal with my attitude, deal with everything that is just ritual. b/c maybe I appear to be doing the right thing but inside me I still have issues. And God is saying…It is issues time.
Got to deal with it. All that causes you to fight rather than to yield. To step in and challenge rather than to just yield and abandon. Goes on…
He is challenging again. Come on is this the fast I have chosen? Only a day. We say come on God, I have been really good. I have given you a day. Now come on God. It is like I have done my day and since I have I can put a check mark in the box. I have checked all the boxes God so now it is your turn. I have done all my religious duties. I have even gone to Wednesday night and Friday fire God? Is this what you call acceptable?
b/c I believe God is saying I really am over what it looks like on the outside. I am really into what it looks like on the inside. I am sick and tired of actions that are externally manipulated and not internally motivated. No God is saying I want you from the inside out. So what sort of fast is acceptable? And God is beginning to unpack all of that. He says I want people that will declare my glory, people that I can put external weight upon but I have to check out the inside. I want waters to come forth out of the desert place. I want multiplication. I want miracles. I want to stake you deep and stretch you wide. I want to give you all the resources you need but is this not the fast I have chosen? I have to check out your motivation b/c if I start to put such power upon you, if you start to arise with the glory of God on you but on the inside you are maggots then I am in trouble.
Like the Pharisees.
See Pharisees they all looked great on the outside but couldn’t be trusted with anything b/c in the end it was still all about them.
And so I believe God is saying come on there is a great breakthrough coming and a great glory is going to break out but only if we work on the inside. So pls let me do the inside. Is this not the fasting I have chosen? Is this the kind He keeps saying? You read vs 5 and you think okay we are finally at the good one but then if you keep on reading you see…no still on a bad one.
Only a day…God says take the time limits off. You are mine for as long as I want. You know we say I’ll do this for 3 months, 6 months, maybe a year. No there needs to be a thing I am here for as long as it takes God. I am here for as long as it takes.
Attitude, I will lie on my sackcloth and give up chocolate for a while. That is sackcloth and ashes to some. You know I believe God is saying to get out of all that b/c it is not about the actual doing. It is about the being and the passion within.
Does that make sense? God is challenging all of our mindsets. The Bible is so relevant today, Isn’t it? And this was written so long ago. At the end of vs. 5 you can hear God saying, come on talk to me. Tell me what true fasting is?
And finally He says now this is the kind of fast I have chosen. The kind of fast I have chosen deals with limitations. Spiritually in vs 6 and practically in vs 7. The kind of fast is for us personally but it also encompasses our relationship with others just as much or maybe more. There is no disconnecting. It says that this kind of fast heals but there seem to be stipulations to that healing and intertwined with this kind of gift and this kind of glory and freedom is enormous responsibility.
read thru verse 9 and then share one more thing.
It says that the fast God has chosen is going to heal and it is going to break every yoke. Every yoke. I don’t know all of what your yokes are but in my life my yokes were my fear and the rejection. Those were the yokes I wore for most of my life. I waited for lightening to strike or some human to come along and remove them from me. What I have learned though is that yokes are not something that are taken off as much as they are something we outgrow. They break because they don’t fit us anymore. We change and instead of spending valuable time begging for deliverance or time trying to wrestle yokes off in our own strength if we spend the time soaking in God’s Word and in His presence we are made “fat”
Isaiah 10:27 Isaiah 58:11 We are made “fat” and then the yokes break and the devil can’t get them back on…because they don’t fit. I know the concept sounds funny for women to want to be fat in any way but that is what it says. Like a puppy that outgrows its collar as it is fed and then grows up. Fail to spend the time necessary to at least maintain that “fatness” and the yoke can easily find its way back on.
He says the spiritual and the practical have to come together. This is the sort of fast that is pleasing to the Lord. It affects lifestyle choices, attitude and behavior. And so we come to vs 6
This is the fast that God has chosen. It is a sacrifice that then leads to freedom. God has such a passionate heart to see people that are born free, now living free and then forever free. In Isaiah 61 we read that the spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me bc He has anointed me to preach such news to the poor. What is good news when you are poor? What is good news when you are poor? That you are going to get rich. What is good news when you are sick? That you are going to get healed. What is good news when you are a captive? That you are going to be set free. He said the spirit of the Lord is upon me, b/c he has made me the bearer of good news. He sent me to say to the broken hearted, you can be bound up. He sent me to say to the captives, you can be free. He sent me to say to the prisoners, you can get out of darkness. He sent me to comfort those who mourn. To put a crown of beauty on those that have known ashes. Gladness for mourning. Praise for despair. He says you know whatever the devil has done, God can do it better and undo it and give it sweetness and glory. That is good news. Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen? It actually has the power to change the negative into positive. The cross is God’s greatest plus. It takes the negative and makes it positive. And that is the power of fasting and of sacrifice.
And you see here three levels. To loose the chains of injustice. To untie the cords of the yoke. To set the oppressed free and break every yoke. Every yoke. I believe God delivers us from all. Isn’t that a great fast? I like that fast? Is this not the fast I have chosen. A sacrifice that releases freedom. And as I began to just meditate on those three levels of freedom. To loose the chains of injustice…I just want you to read with me from exodus chapter 2 verse 23-25 and just see God’s heart for those. And I feel this for our . It is almost like God can do the same as He did when he looked down in eygpt and he saw precious people bound by the spirits of injustice and he looks at us and he sees how debt and …..have just become an injustice upon people’s lives. And it matters to God.
Then go Exodus 3:7 w/ me.
(Make it all personal)
God cares about the injustice and the slavery and the bondages. And he says I will send a deliverer. God will send a deliverer. And I belive for us we are in a moses hour and he is not just going to find one little boy in bulrushes. He is going to find His son in the church and He is going to send you as a deliverer/redeemer to cry out…LET MY PEOPLE GO. LET MY PEOPLE GO. b/c honestly sitting in some of the bars of our town are some of your evangelists. Walking the streets of our towns are some of your prophets. Sleeping on the sidewalks are some of our pastors. Come on Let my people go. Let the resources of the church go. These are people that the kingdom needs. And there is going to come a cry is this not the fast I have chosen to break every chain…break every chain. b/c that is when the spirit of the sovereign lord is upon me b/c now he has anointed me to go and do it. We have to begin to see it. We have to defend the cause of the weak. Cry out on behalf of those that are marginalized. We must break the chains of injustice.
Then we read on in Isaiah 58
Can you see that the devil has put some yokes around some people. And they are walking around with these things around their neck. They are bound up, pushed down, tied up. The fear of death, fear of sickness, fear of financial ruin. Fear of reputation. Yokes of rejection. Lack of selfesteen and confidence. They have lost who they are and they have gotten caught up in this pseudo culture. And they are yoked to all the wrong things and it is just draining them. The devil has put yokes on them and this should matter to us. Is this not the kind of fast I have chosen. To loose and untie the cords of their yoke.
Fat …fat is in. the anointing will make you fat. And you begin to wonder what does this have to do with. But see the anointing makes you fat. And to illustrate….puppy….puppy started out so little wore a cat collar…but he ate and ate and he grew up
As he grew he got fat and he broke the yoke of the cat’s collar. Very quickly and became a dog.
You see there are yokes that fit on your neck today b/c you have been eating the wrong food and you may be the wrong size in the spirit. But if you will start to come to the table of the bread of life and you will start to eat that bread. If you will drink and soak in the presence of God you will begin to get FAT and no devil will be able to able to put those yokes on your neck anymore b/c they don’t fit. In jesus name. you can’t go around wearing that yoke of rejection or fear b/c it doesn’t fit b/c the Holy Spirit has set you free. And no devils’ collar can fit on you b/c you are a daughter of the king of kings. Fat is in. We need to listen to the spirit of God. Is this not the fast I have chosen?
A fast to untie every yoke of the enemy and when the spirit is in you those wretched demons that held you “skinny” in your understanding of who you were, the wrong idea, the wrong calling. It held you in the wrong place and mindset. Suddenly it is delivered. And you become fat in the knowledge of who you are in God and you have divine power for the pulling down of strongholds. To come against every pretension and knowledge that sets itself up against
MY YOKE….but see God broke that yoke off my neck. Why? b/c of the anointing that has made me fat. b/c I began to believe that the God who is with me is greater than all those fears that are in the world. And I began to believe that there is a sound in me. That God has made women to speak in this time. That he has put a sound in me and I will raise up my voice and I will not hold it back and I will declare what God can do even through me in these days and God needs me so I am ready to be used. Yes!
I am going to break that yoke of intimidation that wanted me silent for the rest of my life. Cause I got fat b/c the Holy Spirit got hold of me. And he began to speak w/ me…I need you Melissa so work with me. Step into the purposes and stop stepping back. Yield to all I have for you. Get fat in the revelation of God in your life and those yokes can’t hold you anymore.
So fat is in. Fat is in. Isn’t that good? Then it says to set the oppressed free, vs. 6
To break chains of injustice
To untie those yokes
To set the oppressed free
And break every yoke. Now think of your yokes.
See to break the chains of injustice is the external. The next one to untie the yokes is more about the heart…emotional. It is that which the devil has done to your soul. To set the oppressed free is what the devil has done to your spiritual self. Body, soul, spirit.
You are going to break every yoke, every level. This is Isaish 58. This is the call, this is the mandate that God is giving us. And then very quickly vs. 7
Here is the counterpoint. See we can’t be so heavenly that we are of no earthly good.(I hate that statment, why do I feel I need to use it here?) We can’t just be so up there that we don’t begin to serve people as well as our spiritual. I mean God gave us a body and we must deal with the spiritual so people can live but once we have dealt w/ spiritual we must help them find life. And so is this not the fast? And this is what the main thing that the Pharisees had problems with. They were all into ritutal and didn’t understand practical life. And God challenges us here in Isaiah 58 as Jesus challenged the Pharisees. Come on it is great to have the spiritual to cry freedom….but is it not also to share your food w/ the hungry, to provide shelter for the wanderer, that when you see the naked to cloth him and DO NOT TURN AWAY from your own flesh and blood.
Poor in America/Gastonia
See we can really get into the spiritual. We can put our heads down into prayer and intercession and really cry and do the altar work of helping people break free and we must do that . IT is essential that we help people with their emotional and spiritual well being. That we put back hope BUT we also have a responsibility to help with the practical needs. And there is something in us that want to say…”well if they just worked harder, they could have a better life.” “Get a job” It is their choice, their bed let them lie. And we can have a real hard mentality and say…well God says what you sow you reap.
But you see is this not the sort of fast I have chosen…to also share your food with the hungry. It doesn’t say just wait for the tv to show you the naked in Sudan or Ethiopia. When you see someone, God says how does that affect you?
And I just want to share with you God really impacted me on this in my life…do not turn away from your own flesh and blood.
I believe God is challenging us and saying get involved with our family and our neighbors. Do not turn away. This is our nation our own flesh and blood.
I believe God is turning our hearts