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.
I have always loved these verses. I read them and think of Jesus first, how he brings good news to the poor and brokenhearted. He proclaims freedom for the captives. He gives light to those living in darkness.
It's also easy to imagine Isaiah proclaiming these words to his people because he is one of the great prophets of the Bible, anointed by God. Of course he had the power to proclaim good news to the poor and bind up the brokenhearted!
But what about you and me? When I read these verses more closely, the first sentence catches my eye: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me.” God’s Word repeatedly tells us that if we have put our whole faith and hope in Jesus Christ, we too have the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord in us. In Ephesians 1:19, Paul reminds the church of the Lord’s “incomparably great power for us who believe.” Paul explains that this incomparably great power is the same as the mighty strength God exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us!
Therefore, if God’s incomparably great power lives in each of us who are in Christ Jesus, we can proclaim and live out the same words as Isaiah. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me to proclaim good news to the poor. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me to bind up the brokenhearted. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.
Of course, we can’t possibly do this in our own power or strength. But in Him, all things are possible. I recently read Church of The Small Things, The Million Little Pieces That Make Up A Life (author, Melanie Shankle), a light-hearted read about the importance of living out the many small acts of faithfulness that make up a lifetime of glory to God. At one point, the author writes:
We can never underestimate the grace and the strength he will give us for whatever he is calling us to do and whatever challenges we’ll face. What he has planned for us is higher and deeper than anything we could ever hope to achieve on our own.
It’s too much. It’s too much for us to do in our own strength because we will mess it up, but he knows that and uses us anyway. It’s never about creating or doing or being something that’s perfect. It’s not about having all the right answers. It’s about being his. It’s knowing that he who has called us is faithful.
(Church of the Small Things, p. 147)
Just like the Lord’s anointing of Isaiah, I believe He longs to fill us with more and more of his Spirit to proclaim the good news of Jesus to the poor, brokenhearted, and oppressed. As servants who are filled with the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord, the sisters of WOW seek to be the hands and feet of Christ for the poor and oppressed around the world. Through many acts, large and small, seen and unseen, using each of our God-given talents and abilities, we can proclaim good news and freedom to the poor and oppressed.
As the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord leads you, will you consider partnering with us in this work? There are many ways to partner with us in serving the poor and oppressed, including but not limited to attending the Very Special Purse Party V on October 4th, attending a Journal Jam and Java event, purchasing journals, attending upcoming craft shows, and praying for our mission. We all have this privilege of joining God in his work as He leads us. To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)
I love how Isaiah 61 ends:
For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow,
So the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
(Isaiah 61:11) We plant, He makes it grow. Keep planting, friends!
-- Ashley Manfull © August 2018