Have you ever woke up to recognize the presence of heaviness? Even before you’ve started your day or had time to think about anything, it’s already operating. Today was one of those days. One of the first things I like to do in those situations is a self-check. I examine myself to see if there is any place where I have come into agreement with, or yielded to that spirit. Isaiah 61 tells us that it is an evil spirit: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me 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.”
Overcoming agreement with the spirit of heaviness in my life was two-fold: dealing with my flesh through discipleship, and two, addressing the reality that heaviness is a demonic spirit. Today I want to talk about the latter.
In the spiritual realm, there is a hierarchy of demonic spirits as well as angels. The higher the demon is, the more territory that spirit is able to influence. Rulers, authorities and powers are not small demons that influence just one person; they impact churches, cities or regions. The spirit of heaviness is one of those evil spirits that can influence larger areas. If you’ve ever woken up and discerned heaviness operating, it’s not just about you. Others are feeling it to. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are in agreement with it. They may or may not be; it just means they recognize its presence though the spiritual gift of the discerning of spirits.
So back to this morning when I woke up to recognize heaviness operating. The reason I do a quick self-check is to determine if repentance is necessary. If I have yielded to this spirit through agreement, repentance is necessary and must be incorporated into my praise/prayer time. If not, I skip this step. To be honest, this morning I wasn’t really sure; the waters looked a little muddy, so today I needed to pray though it, not only for others, but also for myself.
Here’s the deal, though…whether we have agreed with heaviness or not, praise is how we begin, not repentance. We are coming before a great King…THE King, and we don’t want to go in empty-handed. When we go before Him, our eyes need to be fixed on Him, not ourselves. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Praise and thanksgiving is where we start, then repentance. You might ask, repentance for what? HOW did you agree with heaviness? Well, that can be a lot more than I will cover in one blog post, but there are some markers to watch for with heaviness. If you have entertained (not just been tempted by) discouragement, despair, doubt, disappointment or entertained a desire for death, you may have yielded to the spirit of heaviness. If heaviness has been hanging around for a while now, and you haven’t been resisting it, it’s time to ask yourself if you have yielded to it. This isn’t about condemnation. The blood of Jesus is more than sufficient when we come to God in sincere repentance.
So, to recap, what can we do when we wake up to the presence of heaviness?
- Self-check; determine if you have yielded to heaviness
- Enter God’s presence with praise; turn on some worship music
- If it doesn’t lift, you may, in part, be discerning heaviness for the purpose of praying for others who are being influenced by it. Pray and worship until it lifts.
May the joy of the Lord be your strength today.