Jill Jarrell Newsome
The Holy Spirit Is In The House
Before church began I had heard from two different people sharing the same issue but different circumstances. One of them I had never met. Both were feeling very low, fighting depression. The pandemic and life’s circumstances had them “spiraling down”. Both used these words. Neither felt like going to church but both said they knew where they needed to be. I told them both they would be encouraged this morning and goodness, gracious was I right?!
The Holy Spirit was in His house! I was blown away by the first song we sang, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” by Matt Maher. It was so upbeat that I could not stand still. The first words we sang were, “Everybody has trials and temptations. Everybody knows heartbreak, isolation. But we can lay our burdens down..” Was He talking to my friends or what?! I knew tears were being shed from those first few lines of the first song! Next we sang, “Break Every Chain” by Jesus Culture! We sang, “There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus...To break every chain, break every chain…I hear the chains falling...”
While we may not have experienced physical chains, we have all experienced spiritual chains. They are a symbol of imprisonment. These chains hold us down and hold us back, keeping us from spiritual growth. The only way to be free from these spiritual shackles is through Jesus. I believe there were chains of depression, isolation, shame, guilt, hurt, brokenness, anger, addiction, bitterness falling! Acts 16: 25-26, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.”
Then a friend sang, “He’ll Do It Again” by Shirley Caeser and read these words! “You may feel down and feel like God Has somehow forgotten That you are faced with circumstances That you can't get through. But right now it seems that there's no way out And you're going under. God's proven time and time again He'll take care of you. He'll do it again. He'll do it again. If you'll just take a look At where you are now And where you've been. Hasn't He always come through for you…” WOW!
Cry out to the Lord, trusting Him, to free you of these shackles! Psalm 116:16, “Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.” I have heard from both of these people. Their circumstances are the same and they are still hurting but they gained hope Sunday morning. They cried out to the Lord to free them of their shackles. God will prove Himself faithful beyond belief. Remember, “God’s proven time and time again He'll take care of you. And He'll do it again.” Psalm 107:13-16, “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.”
Last Sunday we were blessed to hear, “God’s Highway” by Sandra McCrack. I am remembering those words which also bring comfort. “Fear not, keep on, watch and pray. Walk in the light of God's highway. The shadows flee, The valley is deep But evil cannot conquer me. Your rod and staff, They protect me. You give me rest, You give me peace.” As Pastor Tim says, the music leads us to the throne room. Amen! Thanks be to God for bringing us just what we need when we need it!
I love how God speaks to us - through His Word, songs, other people, creation. We just have to be open, watching and listening for Him. Thank Him for the hard times that make us grow in Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” He will take care of us - over and over again!