I am posting this chapter today because God has been talking to me about it. He told me that if people want to see the glory of the Lord manifest in their own lives and if they want to see their cities restored and if they want oppression and depression to leave them. The answer is not in more therapy, government or more religious activity . No, it is in turning our eyes off of our own problems and onto the needs that are all around us! We need to turn our eyes outward instead of inward and begin to be the Church that God has called us to be!
I was never happy as long as I was focusing on myself and my needs and what someone could do for me. In fact, when I was like that I blamed everyone and everything for my depression! You see, we are in depression when this is the case because we were never created to be turned inward! Our depression comes from focusing on self nine times out of ten. God is trying to get us to arise out of this depression and frustration in which our circumstances have kept us (Isaiah 60:1 – Amplified Bible) and He is trying to get our focus on what He has planned for us today which is being a part of the solution to others problems!! I am telling you that you will never be satisfied in your life until you are fulfilling your purpose. is what you were created for. For example, if a mamma bird was always trying to feed herself and not her baby chicks. purpose for being alive would not be fulfilled and her babied and eventually she would die. I believe that the Glory is revealed in all living creatures when we are fulfilling our destiny, the reason that we were created!
I have always said that if you are bored as a Christian there is something wrong with that picture! We all have gifts and talents to use for the kingdom. We all have something even if we have no money that we can do. There are people in nursing homes that could use a smile or a hug. There are those in hospitals that need to know that someone cares. I could name so many things today that one could do to show forth Jesus love to another. I am here to tell you if you will begin looking outward instead of inward and see the needs and become a part of the solution. You will see that your joy will be full and that your peace will be like a river!! I am telling you as you look on the fields you truly will be healed and so will your neighborhoods and your cities and states! Come on church! It is time to shine!!!
Isaiah 58:1-14 (Amplified Bible) “‘Cry aloud, spare not. Lift up your voice like a trumpet and declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins! Yet they seek, inquire for, and require Me daily and delight [externally] to know My ways, as [if they were in reality] a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God [in visible ways]. Why have we fasted, they say, and You do not see it? Why have we afflicted ourselves, and You take no knowledge [of it]? Behold [O Israel], on the day of your fast [when you should be grieving for your sins], you find profit in your business, and [instead of stopping all work, as the law implies you and your workmen should do] you extort from your hired servants a full amount of labor.
[The facts are that] you fast only for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness. Fasting as you do today will not cause your voice to be heard on high. Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?
[Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house—when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood? Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking, And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.
And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of [buildings that have laid waste for] many generations; and you shall be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. If you turn away your foot from [traveling unduly on] the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor Him and it, not going your own way or seeking or finding your own pleasure or speaking with your own [idle] words, Then will you delight yourself in the Lord, and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage [promised for you] of Jacob your father; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”
Isaiah 60:1 (Amplified Bible) “Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”
Arise Shine – Jo Ellen Stevens!!
Jo Ellen Stevens of TCIC Ministries is a Prophetic speaker, author, worshiper and intercessor. She has ministered with her husband for 23 years and was a worship leader at the Assembly of God for many years. She is an ordained minister (Restoration Ministries) and works with Restoration Ministries in their Ministry Rooms doing prophetic worship with her husband. She has taught many bible studies and have led many intercessory prayer groups.