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Beauty for Ashes

He will dress my wounds and beautify me…
The fire that comes in life is sometimes so great that all that remains from our experiences are the ashes from the blaze. The heat can greatly wound you and cause a pain that only God can heal.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

He will heal my wounds and beautify me…The fire that comes in life is sometimes so great that the only thing that remains from our experiences are the ashes from the blaze.  The excessive heat generated from navigating through this world can greatly wound you and cause a pain that only God can heal.

But we have confidence in knowing that our Father has already prepared the appropriate exchange that we need for restoration and sustainability.

Many of us have experienced our own personal pits of hell, and we wear the scars to prove that fact.

Still, it is important that we allow God to heal the broken places in our lives so that we can continue to move forward in Him in a healthy manner.

“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.”                                              

Psalm 147:3

The passage in Isaiah speaks of so many things that God has prepared and is ready to give to us, if we can receive what He is offering.

First, He has given us an anointing to preach Good News.  What’s that I hear you say, “I am not a preacher, I’m a dancer!”  I choose to differ on that statement.

Despite all that we have been through, God has given us a balm that can heal brokenness not only in our own lives, but particularly in the lives of others.

“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of joy above your fellows.”                                              

Psalm 45:7

Even through the ministry of dance, we are able to tap in to this anointing flow and allow it to become a salve and ointment to heal anyone who can receive what you share through your expressions and anointed movement.

Believe it or not, your dancing has the potential to preach Good News, if you know how to use your ministry correctly.  When you are ministering in dance, you have a captivated audience that is waiting to experience God in a unique and fresh way.

Since you have this opportunity, what you say to them in order to bind broken hearts, proclaim freedom, bring those bound in darkness to the light, to declare and decree the favor of God is so vitally important in ministry.

We can minister with an assurance that God will avenge all for the pain that they have experienced at the hands and devices of the enemy.  This is indeed life and healing to those who will receive what you share.

“Rejoice, O nations, with His people;  For He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land and His people.”                                              

Deuteronomy 32:43

When all has gone awry in our lives, God is the one who comforts us and ensures that when we experience loss and grieve from that, we will also have what they need to persevere.  Because God knows how heavy and challenging life can be for us–on an individual level–He has prepared a unique covering to empower us to overcome all that we must face.

This is a covering like no other, for God has adorned you Himself.  This is how much you matter to HIm and the act underscores the love that He extends toward His people, over and over again.

Let’s begin at the top.  It is interesting, that crowns are typically given to two types of people: those in an authoritative position of ruling or those who have reigned victorious in a challenge or triumph.

A Royal Priesthood…
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

 1 Peter 2:9

The Word of God teaches us that Jesus Christ has given us power and authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions and all powers of the enemy (Luke 10:19).

The fact that this passage in Isaiah highlights that God bestows or honors those that have endured the flames of this life will be rewarded with His crown of beauty to offset the ashes of tribulation and pain is a testament of His enduring and gracious love.

“You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

Isaiah 62:3

These verses also speak of an anointing or oil that will be powerful enough to overcome the mourning and grief of all things lost and unrealized.  This oil will bring a “shine” to the countenance of all who have received His love.  This oil radiates in the form of gladness and joy in the visage of His people.

The final accoutrement in God’s array of adornment is a garment, or robe, of praise instead of a weighted spirit of despair.

Your praise and your praise attitude should be a visible example of God’s goodness toward you in the eyes of those that you have the potential to impact.   An outer garment such as a robe, is particularly meant to be eye-catching and appealing.

This characteristic should be so detectable by anyone, not just “church people”.  The combined effect of these pieces should cause a bright reflection of the grace that God has bestowed upon His people.

It is interesting that the comparison of the people of God to oak trees is quite meaningful.  In most cases, oak is a symbol of strength and endurance (many of them can live for hundreds–some even thousands of years).

Indeed this is the hope for the people of God, that they remain resilient throughout the ages, and that they stand as monuments of the splendor of God.

Walk as children of Light…
Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you we formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Ephesians 5: 7-10

Here’s the reality:  God want to put you on display, in spite of your scars, wounds, and past brokenness.

I believe that this is why He adorned us with garments and apparel of majesty, to show forth His ability to heal, restore and re-establish those that have been wounded in the past.

As a dance minister, this is relevant for you also.  When you dance, this is one of the ways that you can show forth the magnificence of His mercy towards you.

Through your ministry you can display the beauty that He has exchanged for your ashes of pain, you can exhibit the anointing that He has given you to break chains of bondage for the sake of gladness and joy, you wear your praise like a garment, but that is expressed through your movement.

This is your adornment as a dance minister. God considers it a splendorous exhibition.  Are you willing to put yourself on display to reflect the beauty that God intended when He replanted you?  Are you willing to share all that was exchanged for you to appear before His people with glory?

“Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the LORD, or can show forth all His praise?”

Psalm 106:2

The same fire that brought the ashes, is the same fire that purifies and shows forth the glory that God has adorned you with for His own pleasure.

“The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise.”

Isaiah 43:21

To be an effective minister, you have to be willing to share a bit of both sides–one for connection and one for deliverance.  One of the most difficult things that you may have to do as a dance minister is the show both your beauty and your ashes.  This is what will keep your ministry relevant.

There is a glory that shows forth when you praise.  Your worship generates an ember of the flame that God has ignited in your heart and spirit.  The burning now, is not from pain, agony or sorrow, but from the joy, love, forgiveness and gratitude that you have toward the gracious God who had mercy on you.

Trade your ashes for the beauty that God wants to adorn you with and experience His love personally.

© 2012 LR Rodgers  All Rights Reserved.

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2 comments on “Beauty for Ashes

  1. inspired and blessed by this Word. Thank you friend!

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