(The following is a prophetic word given at Vinelife Church. This is one of several declarations that have shaped the identity and vision of the Vinelife community. We pray this message serves to encourage us personally and communally.)
The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me
Walt Roberson – Senior Pastor (1999 – 2014)
Shortly after I became the Senior Pastor at Vinelife I was given another Scripture. It had to do with the ministry direction, destiny and purpose of Vinelife. It seems the circumstance in which it was released came while preaching on it and realizing it was more than just a sermon. It was to be the DNA of Vinelife. I do remember each week seeking the Lord for a prophetic word for our gathering and realizing the entire sermon was a “prophetic word”. For all the following years of my leadership this scripture would be an unfolding revelation. It was as if we would begin to live out and experience its truth section by section.
The scripture was Isaiah 61.
I knew Jesus had quoted Is. 61 in Luke 4 when He talked about His purpose for coming to this earth. His ministry was to “bind up the broken-hearted and set the captive free.” Hallelujah! That would be Vinelife’s ministry also. I was so excited to believe Him to use Vinelife to do those very things for people all over the world. What a ministry! What a joy to see broken people healed (spirit, soul and body) and captive people set free! Strongholds of the mind and soul would be broken and freedom would come to many people. I still thrill to hear Pastor Willie’s stories of that very thing happening in his ministry in Rwanda through his Teen Challenge Center. Even in Jan 2016 I taught there and witnessed a dozen young men who were sullen, silent and sick of heart be transformed through a week of teaching on the Father’s love (Luke 15 and Rom. 8). By the end of the week they were up singing and dancing and praising the Lord! Their identity as a loved son was given to them and they became happy and free! That’s the ministry of Vinelife! That’s the promise of Is. 61. I believe each season will unfold increasing revelation of this passage to Vinelife and the Lord will faithfully fulfill His word!
Isaiah 61 (NIV)
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim 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,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
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.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 “For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
10 I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.