The Spirit Of Heaviness

July 23, 2002 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Isaiah chapter sixty-one. The book of Isaiah chapter sixty-one. And when you reach there, please stand for the reading of the Word. Amen? In Isaiah sixty-one, verse one through verse three, it says,

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.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for who You are and for what You do. Father, hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. And dear Lord, as I decrease I ask that You would increase. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name.

The people of God said amen. You may be seated in the house of God.

One of the things that I would like to pull out of this Word tonight is speaking about heaviness. Heaviness. What does it mean to have the spirit of heaviness? It means having great weight. It means there is a burden by something important or by something that is troubling, having little strength or energy.

Now in this particular passage it’s talking about having a burden about something that is troublesome. And when we look at the body of Christ today, there is a spirit of heaviness that tries to linger among the saints of God.

And instead of the joy of the Lord being our strength, heaviness has taken away our strength from us. Our strength has been seeped out of us. It has been siphoned from us. It has been taken out of us. A spirit of depression has been birthed out of this spirit of heaviness.

And when we look at the spirit of depression it’s like an epidemic going across the body of Christ. And an epidemic is something that effects a whole, wide spread amount of people.

And when you look into the body of Christ, you see on the TV in the different camp meetings, there is... It seems as though there are a lot of people that are rejoicing and that are on fire. But that’s a minute part of the body of Christ.

If you look at the body of Christ as a whole, there’s a spirit of depression that has tried to grip the whole body.

But tonight God is speaking to us. He’s telling us to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

You see, there are a lot of spirits that come with the spirit of heaviness. If you can’t sleep at night, it’s a lot of times because the spirit of heaviness has come to attack you with insomnia. Do you hear what I’m saying? Glory to God.

There are a lot of spirits that come with the spirit of heaviness. Even the spirit (glory to God) of... What is the spirit? Glory to God. It’s the spirit that will cause someone to want to kill themselves. The suicide spirit. It even travels with the spirit of heaviness.

The spirit of heaviness in the body of Christ has got to come down. And in order for the spirit of heaviness to come down, we as saints of God have got to be able to praise God when things are going right and praise God when things are going wrong. We’ve got to make praising God a lifestyle.

When I look at some faces tonight, I can tell that there really isn’t any joy. Hello, somebody. Because the spirit of heaviness tries to come and go.

You see, we can’t allow the spirit of heaviness to take away your praise. You see, the spirit of praise is what’s going to cause us to realize that we have the victory. It’s going to cause us to understand that we have victory, and that we’re walking in the victory that God has given unto us.

Heaviness in the body of Christ. You will know that there is something wrong when you don’t want to read the Word like you used to. You’ll know there’s something wrong when you don’t want to get on your knees the way you used to.

You’ll know that’s something wrong. Because it’ll seem like you’re walking in a fog all the time. And it will seem like your mind has always something weighing on it. Do you hear what I’m saying?

The spirit of heaviness does not have a name on it. The spirit of heaviness will attack anybody, anywhere, at any time, if we allow it (glory to God) to have a hold on us.

Saints, of God, lift up your hands right now where you are. Today, tonight, this evening, you and I have got to make a decision. I’m going to be happy whether it kills me. I’m going to have joy whether it kills me. Oh, you don’t want to talk to me. Come on. Clap your hands for Jesus tonight.

I can’t allow that spirit to have control over my life. Because when you look at a lot of saints, they have heaviness on them for years, not just for a little while.

You see, every now and then you’re going to have a time of mourning. Hello, somebody. But after while that spirit of mourning has got to go. Every now and then you’re going to be heavy. Glory to God.

But I want to be heavy because I’m burdened for the Lord, not burdened because the devil is placing a burden upon me. I want to get to the point where the burden of the Lord is upon me, that when I lay down and I cry and I weep, I’m wailing for the body of Christ. I’m wailing for somebody to get saved and delivered and set free. That’s what I’m looking for in the form of heaviness.

They become so taken up with their process of living that they neglect the basic spiritual exercises that are required of all who wish to maintain their Christian experience.

You see, heaviness will stay if I don’t get into the Word of God. And heaviness will stay if I don’t get on my knees. And heaviness will stay when I don’t have a real relationship with Him. But when my relationship with Him is real, He’s the only thing that makes me happy. Oh, you don’t want to talk to me. I’m talking about a real happiness. And I’m talking about a real joy.

If you have been heavy for too long, it will try to take away your Christian experience. It will suck you out of the body of Christ, like you’re going into a vacuum. And you won’t be able to find your way out. Do you hear what I’m saying?

You’ll search around and you’ll look. And you’ll think you’ll find it one way. But then that don’t work. You try to find it another way, and that won’t work. You try to find it another way and that won’t work. And you find yourself at heaven’s door again.

The heaviness, if it stays on you too long it will take you out of the things of God. It’ll take your witness from you. It’ll take your testimony from you. You’ll be like a grape when it starts to dry up, a prune when it starts to dry up. It’ll start to get all ugly and twisted in the face. You don’t want to talk to me.

Have you ever seen a beautiful date or a beautiful grape, and how it looks juicy at first? But when it starts to dry up it gets all crinkled up and wrinkled up. And that’s what’ll happen to us if we continue to allow the spirit of heaviness to grip our mind.

You see, I’ve got to be renewed in my mind every single day. If I don’t read ten chapters, I need to read five. If I can’t read five, at least read one. Every single day I need to get something from the Word of God, something that no matter what situation or circumstance comes my way, I can retain my joy.

You see, you know... You know, I watch people. And I see how bubbly they are for a little while, when it seems like it’s about to take off, and it’s about to go the way they want it to go. But when it seems like it’s going to a standstill, they begin to get at a standstill. They don’t want to take a step no more.

And all the things that they were doing, instead of doing it with joy, they become a routine. They become a ritual. They don’t mean anything any more.

The spirit of heaviness will try to take your God out of you, if you allow it. Somebody needs to hear this tonight. Because you been going through and going through and going through. And every time it seems like you’re going to have a speckle of joy, the devil try to come and take that away too.

I refuse to let the devil have what he didn’t give me. He didn’t give me joy. He didn’t give me peace. He didn’t give me happiness. All he’s given me is evil and torment. And I don’t want that. He can have that back.

But I’m going to keep my joy. I’m going to keep my happiness. I’m going to keep my peace. I don’t care if I don’t have a dime in my pocket. You don’t want to talk to me. I don’t care if my car break down. You don’t want to talk to me. But I’m going to keep my joy in God. I’m going to keep it. I’m going to retain it.

This Anointing that I have on my life, it’s worth more than a million dollars in the bank. It’s worth more than the most fanciest car I can go out and purchase. The Anointing.

But if I allow the spirit of heaviness to rest on me, it’s going to tamper with my Anointing. And when I try to lay hands on somebody, it won’t be effective. When I try to speak into somebody’s life, it won’t be effective.

Heaviness in the body has got to come down. You may not be where you want to be right now. But one of these days you going to make it. If God said you were going to be in a place, then before Jesus come back, every promise that He promised has got to come to pass.

We’ve got to get to that place, when the spirit of heaviness tries to come upon me, I’ll lay on my face. I’ll get before Him. And I’ll say, “Lord, this is what the deal is. And this is what’s causing my heaviness. Now Lord, lift this up off of me. Because I’ve got things to do for You. And I can’t do them feeling like this.

Even though I don’t go by my feelings... Don’t you know your feelings can affect how you operate in the things of God? I rather come lay hands on you when I’m full of joy. If you are going to get something imparted, I’d rather for it to come along with a spirit of joy than a spirit of heaviness.

Sometimes folks get laid hands on. And it’s not that the folks are not anointed that are laying hands on them. But they going through things. And they allow those things to overcome them.

And then instead of just imparting the anointing, they’re imparting that grief that’s on the inside of them. Oh, my God. Talking about an impartation. That’s why the Bible says we got to have clean hands and a pure heart.

See, this word tonight is simple, but we need to hear it. Because on Friday night we all happy, bouncing, jumping. We... Oh, my God. We swinging and skipping along and carrying along. Hallelujah. But what about the next day? We can’t even get up out the bed. Lord, help me, Jesus.

True happiness comes from being in the Holy Ghost. In His Presence is the fulness of joy. In His Presence. Why you love church so much? Because I love to be in His Presence. I eat, sleep, think church. It’s always on my mind. Jesus is always on my mind, in some way, shape, form, or fashion.

Even when the devil try to put a bad thought in my head, I got to go... Jesus be going... Oh, there goes a song in my heart or in my mind somewhere. It can’t stay. Can’t stay.

Heaviness has got to get up under our feet. Don’t worry about that thing that you went through yesterday. Jesus already taken care of it. He’s already taken care of it.

You remember Saul in the book of First Samuel? The Bible said that there was an evil spirit that came an attacked him. Didn’t it? And I can imagine it was some type of heaviness. But every time David would play, it would cause his spirit to get full all over again.

See, you got to watch yourself. Because if the heaviness is always on you until, you know, the, you know, you start hearing the music and you start hearing that... If you heavy all the time, you better wonder if the Spirit of God done left you. Oh, my God. I feel Jesus when I said that. You better wonder if He wrote “Ichabod” on the door.

If you can’t feel Him all by yourself, if you need somebody else... Oh, Jesus. I don’t need nobody else with me to feel Him. I can feel Him when I’m all by myself. I can feel Him when I’m all by myself. I can talk to Him when I’m all by myself. Because I know He’s there. I don’t need somebody else anointing to be with me to feel Him. I can feel Him all by myself. Because I’ve got a relationship with Him.

When you have a relationship with Him, you can’t stay depressed. Because He’s your Beloved, and you’re His beloved. And He’s going to make sure that somehow happiness leaps inside of you.

And I’m not talking about in the form of something material. I’m talking about a supernatural experience with Him. He might just show you a vision. He might just give you a word. My God. He going to do something to bring that joy back up in you.

Have you been heavy for too long? If you been heavy for too long, check your relationship. I don’t care what you been going through, if you been heavy for too long, check your relationship out with God. Because even now as I’m speaking I feel His Presence in the room.

But even if I’m at the house by myself and I start to praise Him or worship Him, I can feel His Presence in the room.

It’s a relationship. It’s time to get rid of that spirit of heaviness. It’s time to bind it. It’s time to loose the spirit of comfort and joy into your life. And not based on your situation or on your circumstance. Not based on that. Not based on that. But based on the joy of the Lord, which is your strength, real joy.

You know, I heard an evangelist on the radio yesterday. And he said, “Contrary to what a lot of people think, God will tell you no. And even when you sow...”

A lot of times, you know, we sow things. And we expect a harvest right then and there. But God is saying, “No. Not right now, because you ain’t ready for it.” He’ll say, “No. Because if I give it to you, it’s going to do more bad than good.”

See, that’s knowing God and having a relationship with Him. That don’t mean that I don’t sow. Because the Bible says that I can cast my bread upon the water. Because I don’t know when it’s going bring forth my harvest, in Ecclesiastes. But it will. But it might not do it at the time.

Saints of God, no matter what you are going through tonight, I want you to give it to Jesus. I didn’t get up here whooping, hollering, and carrying on tonight, and all of that kind of stuff. Because I want you to hear this.

See, a lot of us think we going to go to the next level. But we haven’t mastered the level where we are. How’s He going to take me higher? Oh, I’m about to go to the next level. I’m about to oh, be on another plateau. And then I’m all sunken in. Can’t do it. And He won’t do it. I need joy right there. Because if I don’t have joy here, I definitely ain’t going to have joy there.

“But pastor, you don’t understand. They just took my car.”

Say, “Thank You, Lord, anyway.”

“They talking about foreclosing on my mortgage.”

“Thank You, Jesus.”

“My boss said the next time I’m late they going to fire me.”

“Hallelujah. Thank You, Lord.”

See, the garment of praise is something that you wear. And when you get a revelation of it, you don’t take it off for nothing and nobody. Don’t let nobody pull the life out of you. Don’t let nobody pull the joy out of you, the happiness out of you.

What makes you happy should be the things of Almighty God. That makes me happy. Oh, yeah. That makes me happy. That give me so much joy. When I got saved I was like that. I’m like that now. And I’ll be like that until the day I die.

I can’t let heaviness grip me and take a hold of me. Because if I do, I’ll die. I’ll die. And I’m not getting ready to die. I’ve just begun to live.

So tonight, this evening, if you’ve been heavy about one thing after the next, there’s a root to that problem. There’s some type of root. You need to find out what the root is, the root of why you can’t be happy. There’s a root there.

And it’s not because of anybody. There’s a root that needs to be plucked up. There’s a root there. There’s a root. Get to the root of the problem. And stop always trying to deal with the surface, the surface.

Decide tonight that you’re going to be happy. Right where you are, in the midst of the fire say, “While I’m going to be just as happy.” He said, “I’ll be with you through the flood, through the fire.” He said, “I’ll be with you.” So as long as He’s with me, I’m happy. But if He should ever leave, I’ll die.

If I need you around me in order to feel His Presence, then I’m dead. Saints of God, don’t let it happen to you. Don’t be like sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Get real joy. Get real joy, real joy.

When I met my wife... Before I met her, right when I got saved, I had an apartment, and I had a car. I had no furniture in the apartment. Oh. Hello, somebody. But every time somebody saw me I was just a jumping. I was just so happy. It’s true. I didn’t have nothing in there.

And it wasn’t that I didn’t have the money to buy it. I could have bought it. But I wasn’t interested in all of that stuff. As long as I had a ride to the church... I’m telling you the truth. As long as I could get through the door, I was alright.

And when she came and she saw my apartment, she said, “You don’t have no furniture in here. I’m going to give you some furniture to put in your bedroom.”

I said, “Alright.” I wasn’t concerned.

“Pastor, you crazy?” No. I’m crazy for Jesus. Crazy for Jesus.

And that’s why if the Lord gives me a Mercedes or whatever, I’ll be happy with it. But I’m happy with what I got already. Do you hear what I’m saying? I’m happy right where I am. Even though I know the increase is coming even the more, I’m happy where I am.

Because if I can’t be happy now, then when He bless me with that, after while when the years go by, I ain’t going to be happy with that no more. And that same heaviness is going to come right back. You need to talk to me tonight. Because I’m telling you the truth. I’m telling you the truth. I’m telling you the truth. I’m giving you a little wisdom.

Be happy with that Studebaker out there. Say, “Lord, I’m glad to have it. It’ll get me to and fro. Lord, I like to have something else. But until You bless me with something else, I’m going to be content with this right here.”

That’s the way you got to live your life.

“Oh, you just don’t want better.” It ain’t that. It’s not that. I’m satisfied in Jesus. And I already know what He’s promised. He’s promised a mansion. He’s promised all of these different things.

But that’s not what my eyes are set on. That’s why I know that I can be a prophet to the nations. Because my eyes is not set upon the riches. It’s not set on that. It’s not. He knows my heart. He knows my heart. He knows my... And He knows yours. He knows your heart.

Saints, don’t be heavy any more for what you don’t have. If you got to call every day to get a ride to church, you call them. Bug them. Say, “Pastor said bug them.” Tell them. “Pastor said call. Pastor said I should call you.” See, I know I can get you all laughing up in here. “Pastor said.” You say pastor anyway, all the time. So you might as well say pastor said that too.

But heaviness on a child of God will destroy a child of God. If you see your brother or your sister heavy, you need to ask them, “Is everything alright, brother? Everything alright?”

I know what their response is going to be. Say, “Oh, yeah. I’m blessed. Oh, yeah.”

But you need to see right through it. You need to see through it. Say, “Okay. God bless you.” Immediately you need to get in your car, wherever you at. Just start binding the devil. “I bind you, Satan. Loose, my brother, my sister. And let them go in the Name of Jesus.” That’s the way we got to be.

I know sometimes people look at me and they say, “Something bothering pastor.” Don’t just say something bothering pastor, but pray for pastor. And pull down them strongholds. Pull them down. Just don’t tell me you see it. Pull it down. Pull it down. I’m pulling it down for you. Even when you don’t tell me, I’m pulling it down for you.

The spirit of heaviness. Don’t allow it to grip you any longer. Command it to loose you and to let you go.

Come on. Give God a handclap of praise.

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