Monday, March 12, 2007

Song of Deliverance

Then Peter began to say unto Him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed Thee... . Mark 10:28

For weeks I have been clinging to the "No Limits" CD by Martha Munizzi. I have a tendency to find solace in music when I'm going through a major transformation. This CD beats Destiny's Child's song "Survivor," any day. It is on my computer. It is in my car. It is even downloaded onto my daughter Ellen's MP3 player which I take to work and listen to, almost daily.

One song that stirs my soul is called "Renew Me." The lyrics repeat:
"Renew me. Remake me.
Create in me a clean heart, oh God.
Restore me. Transform me.
Create in me a clean heart, oh God.
Change my heart oh Lord. I'm broken before you now.
Take me as I am. Receive the sacrifice."

Through a haunting repetition of "Change me. Change me. Change me." and the plea: "Don't cast me away from your presence, renew a right spirit within me. For my heart is broken before you, I bow down before you and worship." As this CD was recorded from a live concert, Martha sings, "Let this be your prayer tonight - that God would open up your heart, open up your mind, open up your spirit ears." This has been my prayer daily for weeks now. Through a series of several events, this change has come.

Since the last post I had been trying to "take a back seat" to my self. I hid in the pews in the rear of the church. I would not go up to sing with the choir. One Sunday I actually stayed in the nursery all three services. I was feeling the need to rearrange my worship. I had to stop standing outside of myself. I had to give full glory to God. So I grasped humility and held it tight like a blanket. I refused to let my self get in the way of my worship.

One Sunday I sort of got pushed out of my pew and the only place left to sit was in the very front. It was that Sunday, after singing, "I'm gonna fly like an eagle high" that Brother Brian spoke about being the eagle soaring high above the earth so he can look down and see his miracle. Brother Eugene then spoke on how we limit God. We say we have faith but we doubt in the same breath and doubt is the opposite of faith. I can't remember all the details now, but I do remember feeling that it was time to believe that God was going to move in a mighty way if I would just believe with no holding back. I went up for prayer and next thing you know I found myself flat on my back, praising in tongue and laughing hysterically. It was as if I had been released, delivered from my own fear and sense of self. It is also important to note that although I had begun speaking in tongues about a year ago, in recent months I had stopped. Somewhere along the line I began to doubt that this language was truly from the Holy Spirit. How much harder I laughed when this language reappeared without any conscious effort. I laughed until I cried and then laughed some more.

Week 2 - Brother Tim spoke further about how we limit God. He preached on believing in miracles - Because God PERIOD. Unknowingly, he used the example of your child being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. He went on to say how you're preparing to take your child to a pediatrician for diagnosis and then psychologists and psychiatrists and who knows what kind of medication will be prescribed when you should be going to the one True Doctor who is the Only One who can cure. I burst into tears and I mean BURST. Many of you do not know this, but I have been struggling with Ellen all year. She is highly gifted, but yet the problems kept rising up. Unfinished homework. No interest in school. Couldn't write a short essay. Reads at a sixth grade level and yet hates to read. So there we were - ready to get her offically diagnosed even though she fit every description in the DSM-IV, when Brother Tim reminded me of the One True Doctor we need. My tears were of repentance for underestimating God's power. For my ignorance. The sermon moved on. Next thing you know, everyone is praying in the spirit to strengthen our faith and the faith of others. I was sincerely resting at the feet of Jesus, when Brother Brian grabs my head and down I go. This time delivered from cigarettes.

During the weeks in between, my Theatre Company had been rehearsing our play, "My Soul Looked Back and Wondered." We performed it on March 1 to an audience of about 30. I was a bit underwhelmed with the response to our efforts and immediately began asking God what needed to change in order that this Theatre Company might become a true Ministry. He revealed to me drastic change. The Board would have to be limited to Christians. In light of this, Cast parties could no longer have alcohol present. I was to cut off all ties with those who are not Christians around me so that I would not be pulled down to a level below what is pleasing to God. All the while I just kept praying to God, "I just want to be Right before you." We reorganized our Theatre Company and our first meeting with a Board made up of God-led, Spirit-led people on Saturday. Deliverance from the bondage of sin.

Months ago Ellen came to me asking to be baptized. I immediately contacted Pastor Bond to see if this was possible. He replied that the next time he offered an invitation to Baptism, Ellen was welcome to come up. The next time that we were in service and Baptism was offered I sougth out Ellen and asked her if she were ready to be baptized to which she replied, "I'm too scared." I took a moment to pray and ask God for the words and the wisdom that would take away her fear. I heard God say, "Be baptized with her." I said to myself, "I was already baptized. God didn't really say that. I don't feel like getting wet today."

The rest of the day, my spirit grieved. I had grieved God and missed the opportunity to have my child take one of the most important steps in her faith. That evening Ellen and I had a talk. I promised her that the next time an invitation to Baptism was extended, I would be baptized with her so she wouldn't have to be afraid.

On Sunday, March 11th, Ellen and I were baptized together. The joy that has come over me has been incredible. Ellen, however, is the true miracle. The change in her is visible. She is focused. She is serene. She no longer appears to be "bouncing off the walls." Ellen has been delivered.

Another song on the "No Limits" CD - "Great Exchange," remained a mystery to me. I could not make out the words. On Sunday as I was driving home, it suddenly dawned on me what the song was saying:

"My fear He is taking,
replacing with dancing
and singing a Song of Deliverance."

My heart rejoiced. My Spirit laughed uncontrollably. Yes, this is my Song of Deliverance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Powerful and moving Danielle but please don't fall into the trap of being judgemental. God wants you to reach out to all not just christians!! I don't think the Lord will keep you out of heaven for drinking socially at a party!