By Judy A. Pink
Isaiah 61: 1-2
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.
Isaiah prophesied this amazing word 700 years before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Then, Jesus stood up in the temple, read this passage and declared that He was the fulfillment of it that day. He is the only person in human history who qualifies to speak that of Himself.
This word spoken by the prophet Isaiah as a future promise and fulfilled in Yeshua as a finished work, is one that I call, “The Great Exchange”. This is not just a nice bible passage to be read and passed over. This is the essence of what our precious Lord and Savior offers to “whosoever will”.
1. You give Me your ashes and I’ll give you beauty.
We may not actually put ashes on our heads these days, although some still do, but because of train wrecks in our lives, whether of our own making or not, many people, in and out of the church, might as well have a big ole bucket of ashes on their heads. I’ve been there when I felt as if I were carrying on my back a load of sorrow, regret, loss, shame, and a sense of worthlessness. But, as the song says… When Jesus Comes….You’ll go from, ” You’re not looking very good, honey.” to “Shining in the light of His love!” He says, “I will give you a beautiful headdress, a crown, a tiara.” People will look at you and say, “Wow, what’s that’s crown for? ” And you’ll say, ” It’s for casting at His feet”.
2. Give Me your mourning and I’ll give you the oil of joy.
Mourning can be more than grief over the death of a loved one. Sometimes we mourn over losses in ours lives, loss of years gone by, lost opportunity, loss of friends and relationships, lost marriages, lost possessions.
The Lord wants to pour oil on your head and anoint you with joy. Not just “a little dab’ll do ya”, but the whole jar of the oil of gladness right over your head, dripping all over you! This that I speak of is a spiritual thing! It cannot be accomplished by trying to turn over a new leaf, trying to do better, etc.
If the devil ever gets his fangs of depression into you, you are hard pressed to break out of that. But, in one instant, the Spirit of God can set you free! You will go from mourning to dancing, from despair to delight, from depression to deliverance!
3. Give to Me your spirit of heaviness and I’ll give you a garment of praise.
It IS possible to experience an exchange in an instant that transforms your life…from heaviness to praise! And I’m not talking about a temporary emotional fix that wears off later on. It’s a work of the Person of the Holy Spirit; not something we can conjure up.
Now I ask you, Where else can you get a tradeoff like this?
If you are one who needs to encounter for the first time the One who can give you this “Great Exchange”, I encourage you to set aside time to go before Him, with all of your heart. “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.“ (Jeremiah 29:13)
If you have never come to know Him, go into a room, find a place, sit down, quiet your mind, discipline your thoughts, turn your heart toward Him, and call upon Him. His name is Jesus. Oh, and don’t stop until you have met Him. Whether it’s hours or days or weeks, it’s worth the investment of your time to reap the reward of eternal life. The ROI is outta this world! “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)
Religion without relationship (with Him) is dead. So many are trying to have an understanding of God through only an intellectual process. God is supernatural and He acts in a supernatural way. If you don’t start with that premise, you are missing the boat altogether.
Listen, He has already done what He intended to do. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16, 17) But whoops! Wait a minute… There’s this verse: “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18) And what about verse 19 and 20? Oh, just go ahead and read the whole chapter!
He’s not the poor Jesus standing outside the door, hoping and praying that you will give Him the time of day. We are talking about The One who created you (and everything else ) and gave you life and holds your very breath in His hand. “And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.” (Daniel 5:23)
So, you just might want to acknowledge your “undoneness” in His Holy Presence and go ahead and bow before Him. Let go of the pride that separates you from Him and slay the arrogance that pretends to know something. Lay it all down at His feet, pour out your heart to Him, and please do remember to listen for Him to speak. In His Presence, you will find all that you could ever need or desire. You’ll take a drink of a fresh new wine that satisfies. I promise you…it does a body good!