I need to use the LORD’s mathematics.
Isaiah 61 verse 1: “1 ¶ The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
This portion of scripture has always meant to me that the LORD has called you to full time ministry. It would normally be as a shepherd, as these are normally the tasks of a shepherd. But his changed the one-day while Hettie and I were talking about what the LORD is busy with in our lives. I wanted to explain something to her, and felt that I had to read this portion of scripture to her, when we both experienced the LORD speaking to us.
It is quite amazing how many times I actually thought that the LORD should listen to me. I want Him so to listen to me when I have a solution to a problem, as I have examined the problem, listed the alternatives, and decided on the best possible plan of action. That day while Hettie and I were talking, I suddenly found that He has given us the answers to almost all problems years ago, and is actually documented for us in Isaiah. What a surprise when I found that he even used maths.
What am I talking about? When we examine the part of scripture, we find that it is made up of a number of principles. The first principle is that the Spirit of the LORD is upon me as He has anointed me. How do I know if I am anointed by Him? When His Spirit is upon me. How do I know that His Spirit is upon me? When I prophesy, speak in tongues, or move in signs and wonders. These were the signs mentioned in the Bible, and what Jesus told us will happen when we become His disciples. So, before I try and do something, I have to ensure that I am anointed by the LORD. I cannot assume that I am anointed just because I spent three or even seven years at university or at a seminary and that people should therefore listen to me. No I have to know that I am anointed by the LORD.
The next part of scripture highlights the next principal and that is the part about why I am anointed. I am only anointed to preach good tidings. That good tiding is the message of redemption paved for us by Jesus Christ. It is the message that Jesus was crucified for our sins, in order for us to live. I must proclaim this message wherever I go. I must be able to read through the Bible and be able to see Jesus in every part of scripture. That is how I will receive my freedom from death and hell. Jesus is our freedom. It also means to me that I have to move out of Egypt. I was not called to work in Egypt; no I am called to proceed to Canaan. He wants me to get away from that which binds me.
The next portion defines the next principal. It informs me whom this message is for. It is for the broken hearted, the captives and to those that mourn. Those people will receive the Message of hope. It is not meant for the high and mighty, the snobs and the like. To these the message of redemption is nonsense. No it is meant for those that have been emptied of everything they are. From this we can see that the message is not meant for those that still think that they are okay. No, you have to be emptied of yourself before you will understand the message of salvation.
Why? Because the LORD wants to free me from everything that binds me on earth, he wants me get away from my prison of self-righteousness. From that which binds me to do His work. It does not matter what your past is like, no He wants to free you from it all. He wants to free you from homosexuality, pornography, your inferiority complex, or what ever you are struggling with. But this freedom is only available to those that do as He wants them to.
What is the end result of all this? We will be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. All sorts of doctrines will no longer toss us about as a boat in a storm; no we will be able to hold on to what which we believe in. We will be able to stand in righteousness in front of the throne on the day of reckoning. There we will receive our ultimate freedom. Knowing this, we can now rejoice as prisons will open, doors will open, and we can know that we have received beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
Where does the maths come in?
If we look at any subject like healing or some like subject, we can declare that the LORD wants to free us from it. When I proclaim to someone that the LORD wants to heal us, I have to understand the following requirements for the formula to work.
An anointed person
Scripture to declare that the LORD wants to heal a person. This I have to believe in.
I must admit that I have sinned or that I was party to sin. I must have the correct attitude and know that I am bound.
I must glorify the LORD for what he has done, and what He will do in my life.
This will always have the following result: Healing.
That is the maths of Isaiah 61. Do I have any examples for this in the Bible? Yes. Paul and Silas were in prison. The LORD anointed them both; they proclaimed His Name and Word in prayer and in song. So they utterly believed that the LORD is in control of their situation. What did they receive? Physical freedom. The doors to the prison physically opened.
Another example comes from the Old Testament. Israel is in Egypt. They know that only the LORD can save them. What did the LORD do? He freed them, but how does this fit the formula?
The LORD anointed Moses. He moved in signs and wonders. He proclaimed the Word of the LORD to the Pharaoh every time he went to see him. Israel had already called out to the LORD forty years prior. So their attitude was one of meekness, of a broken heartedness, as they knew that only the LORD could save them. The final step was to become part of the covenant. The result? They came out of Egypt.
This is what the LORD wants for every person. It does not matter what you were involved in, He wants to free you from that which binds you. He wants to free you in order for you to do the will of the Father, and that is to proclaim His Word on earth. We are His hands and feet, but we cannot do anything while being bound.
The only proviso is that I must approach Him with the right attitude. I must confess that only He can help me. If I still have a back door open He will not help me, as He wants to receive the glory and honour. He does not want me to say that I helped Him in getting out of my situation. No He wants the honour.
What have we learned today? That there is a formula described for us in the Bible that the LORD wants us to use to be freed from everything that binds us. Let us follow His ways of problem resolution, rather that our own ways. This is what I meant when I started by saying we have to use our Workshop Manual, the Bible as our guide. I have to know what the Bible proclaims about every question before jumping to conclusions. Sometimes the questions we have will be answered directly by the Bible, but at times it will be necessary to use our formula of Isaiah 61. Let me give you an example. A while ago we were in Jeffreys Bay at a house when a young widow asked me if she should marry again. I referred her to 1 Corinthians 7, and after reading it she proclaimed that she was going to start looking for a husband again, as the Bible told her that she can marry again. In this instance the Bible had a direct answer, but sometimes not. That is when we can use the God’s formula of Isaiah.