I went for a walk yesterday and was singing Raise A Hallelujah at the top of my lungs. The words of the song – I raise a hallelujah, with everything inside of me; I raise a hallelujah, I will watch the darkness flee, I raise a hallelujah, fear you lost your hold on me – brought peace and calm in the middle of this season of fear and panic in our world.
Choosing Praise over Fear
About two weeks ago, I wasn’t exactly experiencing calm. On Thursday March 12th, when we were aware of the virus and a couple of days before things went crazy at the grocery stores, I came home and told my husband I had a spirit of heaviness. His response surprised me: “Good, the Lord has a word for you”. I knew there was a verse about the spirit of heaviness in the Bible and found Isaiah 61:3. God tells us to exchange the spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise. The Lord did indeed have a word for me and I had a choice to make.
Choosing Time with Jesus
I went to my “Battle Songs” playlist – Surrounded, Waymaker, God of Angel Armies, Victor’s Crown, and Raise a Hallelujah (just a few) – and experienced a time of praise and worship that displaced that spirit of heaviness. As I chose praise, worship, prayer, and joy, I experienced the sheltering garment of praise. I know I also have to choose time with Jesus in solitude, stillness and silence. Solitude is one of the ways we abide in Him; his promise is to produce fruit when we abide. That fruit is peace, patience, faithfulness and a spirit of power, love and self-discipline…Galatians 5:22-23 & 2 Tim 1:7.
The Lord also had a second word for me on that day as well. When God created man, He said it was not good for man to be alone.(Gen 2:18) Yet we find ourselves sheltering in place and the enemy of our souls will use this to produce loneliness, isolation, fear, and despair. It is important for us to reach out to one another and stay connected – via phone calls, video calls, facetime – any way we can see and encourage one another. Staying home doesn’t mean we have to disconnect.
In this season of sheltering at home, I don’t have any excuses to not spend time at Jesus’ feet. As you walk out your days in these times of sacrifice and struggle, here are some choices you can make to help yourself and others – and to experience calm and peace.
- Spend time each day in quiet with Jesus. List things you are grateful for in this time of trial. Praise him for those things.
- Limit your exposure to 24/7 news.
- Really stay home. It will make a difference.
- Listen for the Spirit’s wisdom and ask him who you should connect with today. Connect purposefully. Allow time for an in-depth conversation should it emerge.
- Create and listen to a “battle songs” playlist that will encourage you and sooth your soul.
- Claim God’s promises. 2 Peter 1:4
- Choose joy – 1 Peter 1:6
- Above all, pray for repentance, realignment and restoration for our broken world.