God desires to give us “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Isaiah 61:3
Stress, anxiety and worry work against you with one mission – to steal your joy and peace. How often have you been happy and expectant for your day when a worrying thought enters your mind through the news, a phone call or a memory? Suddenly your joy is zapped and you come under a spirit of heaviness.
Every day there will be potential joy stealers in our lives. We have to make a willful decision to focus on the good God is doing in our lives or we will naturally default to the easiest place (the negative, fearful aspects of life). Jesus told us that our stressing does not have the power to add to our lives, it can only rob us.
God doesn’t want you to live in heaviness, Jesus paid the price to remove that spirit of heaviness off your life and replace it with a garment of praise. You can have this holy exchange by agreeing with God’s purposes for your life; make the decision to shift your focus off the problems and onto all that God has already done in your life and the promises still to come.
As an artist I know the importance of focus; a painting can only have one focal point because the viewer can only focus on one place at a time. Try this exercise – focus both of your eyes on the letter A on your keyboard, now try to focus on the letter S at the same time. It’s impossible! In life we can only focus on one thing, we choose where we will focus our attention and this focus will direct our life.
When you feel your focus shift onto worry, fear, pain and other troubles, do what God’s Word tells you to do. Make the holy exchange by:
1. Release your heaviness to God by taking your focus off the problem – this requires discipline.
2. Now deliberately shift your thinking to focus on God’s truth: who God is and how much He values you. Remember the good in your life that God has already done for you.
3. Posture yourself to receive His garment of praise by thanking and praising God. Your joy and peace will return.
Repeat this every time a harassing thought tries to enter your mind and you will break off the old habits of heaviness and allow the new garment of The Lord to clothe your life!
S h i f t your focus.
S h i f t your life.