I wonder could we just pause for a word of prayer together now. I want you to pray that the Lord would speak to you, would you do that? Just open your heart - I don't know what your circumstances might be, I'm very definite of the leading of God in the message today, in fact to the extent where I couldn't preach on anything else. I just desire that those for whom it is meant, get it. So, if you could join me with that same sentiment: that if it is meant for you, you get it and you grasp it, we'll get somewhere. So let's pray, and do say: 'Lord, please speak to me, please touch my heart this morning'.
Father, we want to thank You for all the praise and worship that has ascended to You already this morning. We want to declare that You are worthy of it all, in fact You're worthy of more. We want to uplift Your name, we want to declare that it is all about You, and it's not about us. We just pray that in this moment, today, that our focus would shift from ourselves onto You. Whatever our circumstances are, that we would get a glimpse of You and Your ability to meet our needs. So, Lord, we ask that, and blessed Holy Spirit, we invite You to come, we welcome You to minister to each of us now, that this will be a supernatural time when You will come and not just speak but, Lord, You will touch, that You will transform lives, change people, bring breakthrough. We ask this in the name and for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
I want to speak to you this morning on "Deliverance From The Spirit Of Heaviness". Now, you're not going to hear about a weight loss program! I don't know whether there is such a spirit, I haven't encountered it yet, but it might be out there for all I know! I'm going to talk to you about something that I have intimate knowledge of, and recently, very recently, I struggled with a spirit of heaviness in my own personal life. I'm not talking about in ministry, I'm talking about me, David Legge.
What is it? Well, to just describe it as I felt it: it's like a kind of drudgery that comes upon you. I can only really describe it as being like as if somebody threw a cloak of despondency over me. I suppose you could describe it as 'spiritual depression', and it is so deep that it can actually affect you physically. I believe that this did happen to me. There is a Scripture that talks about the hands hanging down, and the knees being weak, and I actually began to experience certain phenomena that I believe were attributed to how my spirit was deep within me - it was manifesting in my body. I have experienced this before, and sometimes I can pinpoint it to a specific sin, and through that sin I have allowed the enemy an entry. Other times it's absolutely inexplicable, and not even the circumstances that are around me that I am going through warrant the way that I am feeling. I have seen me standing in church, this church, which I love, and everybody around me is sensing God's presence - and, in fact, I know that God is here - but I am not feeling anything. In fact, there is like a kind of numbness in my soul. I have to tell you that I have actually preached like this - and that's not an apology, I have to preach like this, you have to break through and press on - but I have preached feeling as if I was standing outside of myself, looking on, spectating. I have been told I preached OK, but I didn't feel anything. I have to confess I have even preached when I would rather have been in the house with my feet up watching the television - not because of a sense of being backslidden or anything of the sort, but just this spiritual heaviness that was upon me.
Now, you might say: 'Oh, that's too honest, what you're talking about this morning'. I didn't know you could be too honest, you will need to fill me in on that! God forbid that a preacher should be honest in the pulpit! You know, I shared a little bit about this at a prayer meeting a couple of weeks ago, and it was actually in relation to a healing that I received actually for my knee. Even after it, people had said to me: 'What have you got to be sad about?', and they began to describe to me what I had and what they didn't have, and therefore I shouldn't be sad. Now, please understand this, this is not a rational thing - what I'm talking about, this can happen even when you're not dwelling on something that is distressing. It can have nothing to do with your circumstances or your own personal welfare, but it's just this imperceptible kind of dry rot that infects your spirit. I would call it 'a woeful melancholy', or 'a miserable gloom'.
Whilst what I'm describing sounds an awful lot like depression, many who have never been diagnosed with mental illness still have been touched by this. Now, I have to say that there are many types of depression, and I don't want anybody to misunderstand what I'm saying here today, or misrepresent it. There is chemical depression, there is such a thing. There is also circumstantial depression. But I want to say to you today that there is spiritual depression. Now these are not often distinguishable from one another, there can be a mixture of some or all - but even if your depression has been caused chemically or circumstantially, or through other causes, I am absolutely sure that whatever the origination of your depression is, the enemy knows it is there and the enemy will capitalise upon it even if he has not caused it.
Some say that Martin Luther battled with depression most of his life, the great reformer. Abraham Lincoln, the US president, said himself, I'm quoting: 'I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would be not one cheerful face on the earth'. Friends of Lincoln said, again I quote: 'He was a sad looking man. His melancholy dripped from him as he walked, and he was so overcome with mental depression that he never dared carry a knife in his pocket' - the great Abraham Lincoln. Sir Winston Churchill referred to his own recurrent depression as 'the black dog'. One biographer notes that 'He had an enemy worthy of the word 'black dog', an unambiguous tyrant whose destruction occupied him fully and invigorated him totally year-in year-out'.
Many of you will be familiar with hymns like 'There is a fountain filled with blood', 'Oh, for a closer walk with God', and 'God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform'. The author of those hymns and many others was a man called William Cowper, and he was a man who suffered right throughout his whole life from what was probably manic depression, to the extent that he contemplated taking his own life and actually came to the conclusion, tragically, at the end of his days, because of his theology - he was very Calvinistic - that he was not one of the elect of God, and he was a reprobate. In other words, there was no hope for him and God had given up on him. This is a man that is writing your hymns.
I recently discovered that the great Derek Prince, who is a hero of mine, battled demonic oppression every day of his life until he was 80 years old. It wasn't until he discovered the truth of the Father Heart of God that he received deliverance from it, and he described this experience of his everyday as 'Being aware of an arm stretched out toward my head, seeking to press down something like a black skullcap upon me'. He talks of 'dark forebodings' that were with him every morning that he wakened.
Now, from the Psalms, you will know that King David and other of the psalmists had numerous bouts probably of depression. Well, I'm here to tell you today that there is deliverance from the spirit of heaviness. I'm not saying that people don't need medication at times, I'm certainly, definitely, not saying that you should come off your medication. I'm not saying that circumstances can't add to our mood, neither am I saying that we don't need to be radical at times with changes to our lifestyle - for instance: exercise, certain habits. I find myself that the loss of discipline can be drastic to my disposition, and even your diet can affect how you're feeling. So there needs to be a balanced approach to this problem of depression. I'm not even saying that what I will share with you here today is the sole answer to the spiritual problem of heaviness, but what I am definitely saying is that I believe here is a revelation that is an important key to get delivered from the spirit of heaviness.
So I want you to turn with me to Isaiah 61 for our reading. Isaiah 61 that many of you will be familiar with, and we're just going to read the first four verses. This is prophetically speaking of Messiah, hundreds of years, through the prophet Isaiah, before Jesus would come. I call it 'The Mandate of Messiah', or 'The Mission Statement of Messiah': "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. And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations".
Now fast forward quickly, not in your Bible but in your mind, to Luke chapter 4 where Jesus, as was His fashion, His habit, was in the synagogue in His own home village of Nazareth. That particular day, the reading on the Sabbath was from Isaiah, and it was His turn - I don't know how the rota worked - but it was His turn, that day, to read from the scroll. The attendant handed Him the scroll, a massive scroll, He opened it at the portion and it was this, Isaiah 61 verse 1 and following. He actually stops before the pronouncement of God's judgement, and then He sits down, and it says that everybody's eyes were fixed upon Him. This is the reason why: He declared, 'Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing'. In other words, He's saying 'The finger is pointing at Me, I am the One, the One, the Anointed, the Messiah, the Christ, the One whom Isaiah is talking about, the One whom the Holy Spirit has inspired all the pages of the Old Testament to point to. I am He' - and they were flabbergasted.
Really what He was claiming to do was to be the Saviour of the world, to undo the damage that sin and Satan has done in all of our lives - because sin impoverishes, isn't that right? Sin breaks hearts, sin captivates people, imprisons them, inhabits and literally incarcerates them. Sin binds people, binds minds and emotions, and even bodies. Jesus is declaring: 'God's anointing is upon Me to declare good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind. He has called Me to usher in the acceptable year of the Lord', which is the year of Jubilee. Now you read about that in Leviticus 25, and to put it very simply it was the 50th year after seven sabbatical years, seven sevens, so after the 49th year the land would be rested and it would be a year when the economy would come into sync again. But spiritually there was a significance to this, because on the year of Jubilee the slaves were set free, every slave was liberated; all debts were cancelled in that year; and if land, family heritage had been taken off you for adverse circumstances or whatever, on that year of Jubilee your family land would be returned. This is a picture of a new beginning, that everything that the enemy has stolen, killed, and destroyed, believers in Jesus Christ are meant to be living a spiritual year of Jubilee now! That's you! 'The acceptable year of the Lord', that means He wants to do it.
Now, if you look at Isaiah 61 again, you will see that part of what is included in the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of Jubilee, the new covenant if you like, what Jesus came to give us, is comfort to all who mourn. Now if you were to read the beginning of chapter 40 of Isaiah, you would see that God's message is 'Comfort you, comfort you My people'. You see God is interested in coming alongside and comforting His people, because sin causes mourning. Whether it's our own personal sin, or the sins of others toward us, sin causes sorrow. We look on, verse 3, He wants to give, instead of the ashes of mourning - and you know what ashes are, when the fuel is all burned out, if you're here this morning and you feel like all the joys of your life has been burned out, the Lord Jesus Christ wants to give you beauty for ashes. The word 'beauty' there in the Hebrew literally means 'a headress', a crown, like the bonnet that the high priest and the other priests would wear, but it was also to adorn a bride. 'To comfort all who mourn, to give beauty for ashes' - instead of mourning He wants to give, look at verse 3, 'the oil of joy'. Rather than anointing your head with ashes, He wants to anoint your head with the oil of joy.
Then, this is where we are considering today, verse 3, 'the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness'. Now before we delve into that in any depth, I want you to see the figurative language that is being used here in these verses. There is a comparison being made, if you didn't realise it already, between a funeral and a wedding celebration. A funeral service where the Hebrews would have put ashes upon their head, they would have mourned, some of them would have beat their breasts and wailed; not only did they lament, but they would wear sackcloth. Yet at a wedding, as you can imagine, they wore beautiful garments, bridal wreaths, garments of praise literally. So the Hebrew custom was - this was the psyche - that whatever you were feeling in your spirit and soul, whatever the mood was would be reflected in what you wore. Now that's still the case even today, but the prophetic message is: Christianity is meant to be a wedding celebration and not a funeral dirge. Jesus taught on this, He said it's meant to be a feast, not a famine.
Are you with me so far? Let's look at this phrase in verse 3, this is the answer to the spirit of heaviness: the garment of praise is what Jesus gives us, the Messiah gives us. I would go further: it is what He bled, died, rose again, ascended to heaven, and poured out the Holy Spirit for - to give us clothing, a garment of praise that is the remedy for the spirit of heaviness. Now first of all we need to consider what, biblically, is this spirit of heaviness. Well, the NIV, if you have that this morning will translate it as 'spirit of despair'. So, if you've ever been in desperation, you understand what I'm talking about. The English Standard Version calls it 'a faint spirit', those weak knees that I'm talking about, if you've ever felt the strength drain right from your body, that's what we're talking about. The Young's Literal Translation says 'a spirit of weakness', and that covers a whole myriad of things - how we can be weak in mind, weak in our emotions, weak in our actions, and even weak in our body. It says of Jesus prophetically in Isaiah 42 that 'a bruised reed shall He not break, and a smoking flax shall He not quench'. The word for 'smoking flax', in other words a candle that is going out, is the same word that is used here for heaviness. In other words, if the embers of your flame are dying out - you know when the smoke rises from the wick after blowing out your flame - if you feel like that, that the last dying embers of meaning and well-being and purpose are going out, this describes the spirit of heaviness.
In 1 Samuel 3 and verse 2, do you remember it says that Eli's eyesight, the high priest, his eyes were dim and dull - that's the same word as 'heaviness'. If you feel just that you can't focus, if you feel that the Technicolor isn't there but it's all black-and-white, and maybe even wavy lines, this is what we're talking about. In Leviticus 13:39, the priests were instructed that if a leprous spot was cleansed, it would turn faint and pale coloured - same idea again, same word, 'heaviness'. So when the colour is going out of your life, you're beyond the shade of pale, it's the spirit of heaviness.
Now most Bible commentators and teachers have interpreted the spirit of heaviness as an attitude of the human heart, and all these translations no doubt reflect that. I have to say to you here today, before we talk about demons, or the devil, or anything like that, or our enemy, do not underestimate how the damaged human spirit can affect your wholeness, your well-being. Listen, if the spirit, your human spirit that God breathed into you - that's the real you, your identity - if that is damaged, it will affect your whole being. Proverbs 17:22: 'A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones'. If there is something wrong with your spirit, it can even affect your body. Proverbs 18:14: 'The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness' - so, if you're sick, but you've got a strong spirit, you'll most likely get through - 'but who can bear a broken spirit?'.
If the inner part is damaged, the whole will be struggling, the whole being will be struggling. There are people here this morning, and do you know what you need? You need inner healing for brokenness of spirit. You've got a bruised spirit, or a crushed spirit - I don't know how it has happened, but you need healing deep down. It may even be affecting you physically in sickness, and you've had prayer for physical healing but it hasn't worked - the reason why that is, is that it's not the problem, it's only a symptom, the problem is deeper in your human spirit. So there is no doubt in my mind that what Isaiah is talking about is this human condition of the heart that is devastating, that makes us weak, that makes us frail, that makes us despair, that makes us want to give up on life, takes all the colour out of life, burns life to the ashes.
But there's another understanding of the spirit of heaviness, and I believe it is equally as valid - that is, that the 'spirit of heaviness' can be a demonic spirit. Now the word for 'spirit' in Hebrew is 'ruach', it even has the sound of wind, and that's what it can also be translated as - the 'ruach' of God, the wind of God, the spirit of God. It is used of God Himself, but it is also used of other spiritual beings in the demonic realm, it's used of all spiritual life. So it's very plausible that this is also pointing to a demon, a demon that has a job, and that job is to come and vomit over you the spirit of heaviness, to envelop you in this shroud. Now, I've no doubt that both are true, OK? Indeed, if you have the human spirit of heaviness, that may well - if you indulge it, or if you're just so weak and passive under it - it may well give the enemy an opening to come in with an actual spirit of heaviness, a demonic spirit.
I want to say to you that the spirit of heaviness can be over a person, it can be over a couple, it can be over a family. Indeed, I believe that there have been times when this spirit has come against me, and because I have lain passive under it and have not done warfare that it has touched my family. I've seen the environment change around me, because as a covering over my family, as the priest of the home - fathers, listen to this - you're not an island. The way you are spiritually can affect the whole equilibrium of the home. It can affect individuals, marriages, families, it can affect - I believe - towns. I believe towns can be under a spirit of heaviness, hopelessness and despair. Take a town that there has been great redundancies in or something like that, or there has been a disaster of some kind, or a tragedy - very quickly that can be an opening for the enemy to come and send spirits of heaviness to pull people down. I believe it can be over a church. Now I don't believe it's over this church necessarily, but I believe it can be over a church. I would even go as far as to say that it can be over a nation. I believe there are countries, whole peoples in this world that are under a principality of heaviness.
So that's what we're talking about. You might - well, you probably not - put your hand up and say: 'Oh, I've got that!', we don't tend to own up to that one. But if you have, you need to listen up, OK? What I want to look at right now is the remedy and the answer for this spirit of heaviness, whether it is a human condition that you have just within yourself, or whether through that, or isolated from it, the enemy has come over you in a supernatural way through spiritual depression. I want you to listen to what the answer is, Isaiah gives us the answer: 'The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness'. Now, I hasten to add again, this is not necessarily the only answer, OK? I'm not saying it's the sole solution, but I do believe with all my heart that it is in an intrinsic part of the solution to this problem.
So, how do you get it? How do you get this garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness? Very easy: God gives you it. Like every provision of God, you've got to go and get it. It's given by grace, that means it's free, you don't have to buy it or earn it, but you do have to come and get it by faith. Do you know that? Everything that God gives is by grace, but we receive it through faith. It's a bit like the armour of God in Ephesians chapter 6. God has given us that armour, but if you walk through life thinking 'I'm just covered in the armour', you'll get into big trouble - because Paul is very emphatic and saying 'Take to yourself the whole armour of God'. You read the language, the verbs that are used: 'put on' this, that and the other. So you've got to avail yourself of the provision that God has given. It's exactly the same here with the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Jesus has bought it with His own blood, and God, by grace, is handing it to us - but we, in the midst of our despair, have got to come up to the Throne of Grace and say 'I need that garment right now, Lord!'. There is something for you to do.
The danger is, when you're in this type of spirit, you can be very passive - can't you? You sort of give up. You're not active, but this garment of praise must be put on by faith. You've got to put on the garment. Literally, I think the Hebrew reflects that you've got to be wrapped up in praise. So we've talked about the shroud of heaviness, but what we're saying now is that we've got to wrap ourselves - we're doing it - wrap ourselves up in praise. Now, when you come to the New Testament, the Bible has a lot to say about putting on certain garments and putting off others. By the way, it's nothing to do with fashion or dress, it's talking about spiritual clothing. For instance, Romans 13, listen: 'Cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light' - a bit like Ephesians 6 - 'Cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light'. Ephesians 4: 'Put on the new man' - what Christ has made you to be, you need to put him on. I know you're born again, perhaps, but there is something for you to do: you need to appropriate everything that Jesus has bought for you on the cross. Again, Colossians 3:9: 'You have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man', or woman, 'who is renewed'.
So, you see a New Testament concept, the new covenant is the putting off of old things, bad things, and putting on God things, good things, new things that God has given us by grace. It's a kind of exchange, if you like, a spiritual exchange. Now, I can't prove this, OK, I can't prove it from Scripture I mean, but I'm absolutely convinced by my own experience and that of others that the order with the garment of praise is different - to get rid of the spirit of heaviness, the order is different. Let me explain what I mean: with all these other verses in the New Testament, you have to put something off before putting the new on, OK? Put off the works of the flesh and put on the new man. But I believe that it is actually the putting on of the garment of praise that effects the putting off of the spirit of heaviness, are you with me? In other words, you can't put heaviness off without putting praise on. It's as if you're wrapping praise over the garment of heaviness that is already on you, and as you wrap it over that garment of heaviness, that shroud, it disappears!
Now, I hope you Pentecostals know the power of praise. You like singing, don't you? I know that much! I love it! I thank God that in this church it's not a sandwich filler - you know what that is, it's not just to get up to the real stuff like the preaching or that, it's not like that, it's worship, it's adoration, it's meant to be exultation. But I fear at times that even though we know that well and do it well, that we have missed the warfare that there is in praise. 'The high praises of God in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand'. There is great power in praise, and I wish I had time to talk to you about it this morning, but I don't - but let me give you two things. First of all, praise can heal the soul and calm the troubled spirit. In 2 Kings 3 you've got the prophet Elisha, and he's downcast, and he is angry at the idolatrous King of Israel. Do you know what he asks for? He calls for a minstrel, a musician to come to him, and it says: 'Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him' - and he got peace again. It's the prophet Elisha, he asks for a musician, they weren't even singing, there were no lyrics - music has a spiritual power without words, and he availed himself of that when there was a heaviness upon him. You need to know that praise heals the soul, it can heal the mind, it can heal the emotions, it can heal the actions, the volition, it can even contribute to healing within the body.
But something else: do you know that praise can drive the devil away? In 1 Samuel 16:23, we read that it came to pass that evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, that evil spirit was permitted to come against King Saul because of his own choices, and pride, and decisions. It says that David took a harp and played with his hands so Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. Now this was not an exorcism, the evil spirit kept coming back, but in that moment it was the remedy of praise, the garment of praise that Saul didn't even do for himself - David threw that garment over him and he was momentarily relieved from the spirit of heaviness and oppression. It's all here in the book. We need to realise that Satan is allergic to praise. Where there is jubilant praise, Satan is paralysed. Praise is an antidote to the poison of Satanic oppression.
Now, please don't get me wrong, you do need to put away negativity of every kind from your life, OK? There are a lot of caveats to what I'm saying, you need to think on good things, godly things, study Philippians 4. You need to shut your mouth and stop saying negative things over your life and over other people's lives, and start declaring what God says. We need to cut out grumbling, we need to bin worry, we need to get rid of pessimism. First Thessalonians 5 verse 8 says we need to put on the helmet of the hope of salvation, we need to start seeing things from God's perspective and stop listening to the lies of the enemy. There is a lot of what we need to do - but listen, if you find yourself under a spirit of heaviness right now in this meeting, or periodically, or even if you just get down from time to time (I think we can all own up to that one, unless you're exceptional, and I really would love to meet you!), here's the answer: the garment of praise, and there is a sense in which you need to appraise in order to praise.
Do you know what an appraisal of something is? You measure something, you calculate, so when you start praising that's what you're doing, you're appraising, you're considering the greatness of God. Here there is something psychological happening as well as spiritual, you're moving out of yourself. You're contacting and connecting with a reality that is outside of you, outside of your problem and your circumstances, and in fact is the great power of the universe, God, bigger than all your problems! Ten years ago I had the beginnings of depression, thankfully it was nipped in the bud. It was largely circumstantial, to do with things that were going on around me at the time. I remember doing something very simple, I took a book on the attributes of God - it wasn't a heavy one, and I don't mean heavy weight, I mean heavy in theology, it was very simple - it was by a man called William MacDonald. It was just about two pages each on attributes of God, and I just decided - I think it was 30 days worth of stuff - I was just going to take one of those every day, go on a walk, and start praising God for His attributes. Something happened, I actually literally sensed myself being lifted out of the morass as I took my eyes off myself and onto God.
Recently - because, you know, we forget things - recently I have again put into my schedule, my devotional time, a number of minutes (which I will not disclose, because I don't want you going away and thinking 'Oh, I have to do that many minutes') whatever the Lord lays on your heart to just praise God. Before I read my Bible, before I pray, to just have a time of praise and praise my way out of this thing - and, you know, it has worked! Not only have I done the praise in the morning, but do you know what I have done in the evening - and this is marvellous, and even psychiatrists agree with this (not that they are always right, but it's true), in the evening praise and thanksgiving: 'Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise'. Do you know what I do before I go to bed? I do other things before I go to bed, I clean my teeth and all, but I write down three things that I'm thankful for that day - just three things. Don't pray about them, just write down three things that I'm thankful for. It doesn't have to be 'There was revival', or 'Forty people got saved', it can be 'I had a good cup of coffee with a friend', or 'I had a nice walk', or 'Somebody blessed me in some way'. Do you know what you're doing? You're retuning your spirit to praise and thanksgiving.
Now you might think this is simple or basic - well, it is, but it's profound. What you're doing is, you're wrapping yourself up in the garment of praise and overcoming the spirit of heaviness. Can I tell you something: if you wait until you feel like praising, you're not going to break through! The secret is doing this when the last thing in the world is that you feel like praising God. Do you understand? You know when people say: 'Oh, get into it, praise the Lord! Put your hands up, do this, do that', you know, like Simon Says, and you feel 'Would you just shut up and leave me alone, I don't feel like doing that!'. Listen: that's the time that you need to break through. Your will is a great gift from God, and you take your will and you say: 'I will praise God!'. I learned this week from Matthew 4, you know the temptation of Jesus, this is profound statement - it wasn't mine - 'We cannot just think our way out of the wilderness, we must speak our way out'. That's what Jesus did: 'It is written, it is written, it is written'. Speak your way out, speak truth, but praise is the way to articulate from deep within - not just musically, but in declarations, in proclamations, in reading Scripture, in praying Scripture, in pronouncing Scripture. You can speak your way out!
Handel was composing his great work, the Messiah, and he barricaded himself into his room. He practically neither ate nor slept as he wrote. Of course the 'Hallelujah Chorus' is the great climax of that work - 'Hallelujah' means 'Praise the Lord', you know that. Later he told a friend about his experience, he said: 'It seemed as if heaven came down and filled the room'.
Let us pray: Father, I thank You that You are God, and there is none beside You. We thank You that when Jesus died He ascended on high, and He led captivity captive, and He chained the enemy. He came off that cross, and He went into Hades and He preached liberty, He preached freedom, He preached emancipation. We thank You that when He rose again this life, this life, and the words of this life are available to us. He has come to give us abundant life, life to overflowing. I declare the name of Jesus here this morning, I declare that He has all power over every single entity in this universe. In Jesus' name, I ask for healing for deep hurts, for deep wounds. I ask You now, Lord Jesus, that you will heal crushed, broken, bruised spirits - right now that You will pour in the oil, that You will pour in the wine, that You will break off the oppression of the enemy, the scars of the past, the hindrances, the yokes, whatever it might be, the trauma, the fear that has been engendered that has brought this cloud over people, words that have been spoken over their lives by others that are words of curse. We break all of that in the mighty, victorious name of the Lord Jesus Christ - and with His authority, I command right now, I command the spirit of heaviness to leave these people now. I command the spirit of heaviness to leave right now in Jesus' name - go, you're not welcome, you've got your orders - in Jesus' name, leave. Heaviness, depression, go in Jesus' name. Every spirit of trauma, every spirit of fear, every spirit of brokenness that is there, I drive you out in Jesus' name. Every mind-manipulating spirit, every spirit on the mind of the head, on the mind of the heart, you go right now in Jesus' name. You're gone now in Jesus' name, right up and out of these children of God, you will leave in the glorious name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I ask You, Lord, that, as this great exchange takes place, and - as I believe - as we praise that this is going to lift off; I ask, Lord, that we will lift off, and I ask that the peace, the joy, the love of God will be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and that we will praise like never before. We talk, Lord, about getting the cobwebs off - boy, Lord, there's more than cobwebs here, but they need to come off. I pray that people will reach out both their hands by faith, and they will take the edges of this garment of praise and they will wrap it around themselves.
Can I say to you here this morning: if you have a loved one, and they're not here, you claim this for them, you claim this for them. You praise through in battle for them, and at home do it, praise through for them, claim what Jesus says is going to happen, not what the enemy has pronounced over you, not even what you see with your two eyes - but you start praising God for what He is going to do.
Preach The Word.
This sermon was delivered at Portadown Elim Church in N. Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the recording titled "Deliverance From The Spirit Of Heaviness" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.
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