Thursday, August 26, 2010

Deliverance

Sometimes it strikes me odd how easily I pass by central, essential Bible teachings as if they were common fare. The words that frame them are wedged into so many places, and probably for that reason alone I scim over them as I might any other word; any other doctrine.

Deliverance is one such word.

Several weeks ago I began hearing a relatively new song by the group Selah called "You Deliver Me". From the first hearing to the most recent, the song grips my soul, bringing with it a flood of emotion. It speaks not only to my rationale self, but to that part of me I don't always understand: my spirit.

What does it mean to be delivered, anyway?

The scriptures tell us that it's God's provision for rescuing His own from danger, or peril. Those dangers and/or perils span everything - from trouble to terror; from persecution to sickness; from afflictions to addictions; from unseen onslaughts to visible enemies ... and then some.


... for I know ... what has happened
to me will turn out for my deliverance.
I eagerly expect and hope ... that I will
have sufficient courage so that now, as
always, Christ will be exalted in my body ...
Philippians 1:19-20

I realize many associate the word, as well as the concept it conveys with demonic activity and/or exorcism. That may well be among the litany of things from which to be delivered, but it's certainly not my focus here (nor do I believe a believer can be, or is EVER possessed).

Rather, I'm simply attempting to convey (if only to remind myself) how privileged are we to live beneath the watchful eye of so great, so caring, and so personal a God that such a thing - deliverance - is even possible.

So how does it work? Is there a formula, an incantation, a recipe for whipping up deliverance?

Hardly.

We ask. We wait. We trust. His love never fails - no matter how, or when, or in what form His deliverance arrives. He arrives., and with Him the deliverance most needful.


The wise man in the storm prays to God,
not for safety from danger,
but deliverance from fear.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Footnote: Almost like connective tissue to make this concept real, the mental image - the visual - I have for deliverance dates back to 1972.

My daughter was roughly 18 months old at the time, and we were among family at my sister's home, where everyone was enjoying her swimming pool on a particularly hot day. There was Molly, at once sitting on the top step to the pool, then next stepping her say down, down, down onto the lowest step - BENEATH the water.

It happened so fast none of us got to her before her underwater plunge, but we needn't have worried. She didn't panic or thrash, or sink deeper. She merely stood on that bottom step, holding her breath and with her hand extended to reach above the water line, waiting for someone to rescue her; to deliver her.

She had no doubt or fear because she had confidence instead; not in her own ability to deliver herself from peril, but in the hands of those she knew would come to her deliverance.


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17 comments:

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Thanks I needed this...I have one child struggling in the water over her head, and yet God is there for her, because she isn't allowing us to extend our hand of deliverance....But My God will, she is His child and these words are very encouraging!!!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I know all about deliverance. God has been so merciful and gracious to me for I have never deserved it of my own doing. There have been many times when I have been flat out on my back lifting my hands up and He has reached down and pulled me up out of the depths of pain, loneliness and despair.

Saleslady371 said...

I'll be darned...I didn't think any words in the Bible got passed you, dear friend! I love your passion for understanding the Lord and your illustration of Molly is perfect.

Hugs,
Mary

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Very well said. This is what it was like for me... waiting on my Father to deliver me. Praise His Holy Name!

Sonja said...

Your description of deliverance is so right on! And the story of your daughter, the very exact thing happened with our son when he was 4. We were all sitting around the pool talking and he fell right off of the raft his dad was holding onto, into the water, and dad never saw it, but I did from the side, and leaped in, hollering to my hubby... Both hubby and I got to the bottom at the same time and Tommy was simply holding up his arms to us, waiting to be 'delivered'... what a great picture Kathleen! Thanks for sharing and reminding me today!

Hugs!

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

Awesome post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! Definitely food for thought!! Good stuff!!

~Beth

Diana said...

Yes, great post!! Thanks for letting us know about Elaine. Blessings to you, Kathleen.

Shirley said...

A wonderful visual image for your post! You are right...sometimes we do simply scoot on past things, not giving them much thought and then one day you stop in your tracks and question what it really means.

Debbie said...

I can only imagine the fear that gripped your mom's heart upon seeing Molly in the pool. But she trusted that someone would rescue her. Oh my ...

Deliverance. I keep waiting for it to happen. I get upset when it doesn't happen. But I know that God is not wasting these trials. I'm learning and growing in the midst of them.

Love you and miss you friend,
Debbie

Karen said...

I do love that song by Selah...and I can testify to the fact that God does deliver His children...from fear...from worry...and from any type of bondage we may have...praise the Lord!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I am a visiual person and I seem to keep learning best when concepts are given to me visually. This precious story of God's deliverence is like a beautifully wrapped gift given to me today. I love it! Thank you for sharing what God lays on your creative and caring heart. The paragraph on God's deliverence from"worry" was just what I needed, and even though I know from years of experience, that it is true of my Heavenly Father, I just needed the reminder. My tendency is to want "instant" deliverance like my instant oatmeal. Then I am reminded that God's timing is totally different than mine so often. Once again God used this skillfully written post and the comments that came with it, to uplift and encourage me. What a beautiful gift!

Terri Tiffany said...

What a perfect picture of deliverance!! I will think of that as I go through the next few days.

LisaShaw said...

This is awesome--every word!

I used to hear my Grandma at times in her prayers say, "Lord, thank You for delivering me" and I knew she wasn't possessed (I agree with what you said on that!); but it took me a long while later to learn and understand what she indeed met about her Lord and Savior who is now mine too.

With the same heart as hers I can say, "Lord, thank You for delivering me".

You said it all here:

"We ask. We wait. We trust. His love never fails - no matter how, or when, or in what form His deliverance arrives. He arrives., and with Him the deliverance most needful."

And in your last paragraph in the sharing about your daughter when she was 18 months old. Oh for us to hold our breath and extend our hand up toward heaven for the deliverance we know is coming...

Love this. Love you!

P.S. Received your Email. Responding shortly.

Beth E. said...

This is a great post, friend. Your giving my brain a good workout this evening, pondering your post. ;-)

When I hear "deliver" or "deliverance", it always reminds me of the Lord's prayer:

"...lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.."

Now that is true deliverance.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

What a smart little girl!

Thanks for a great post.

Blessings,
Susan

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Already delivered.

No matter the road ahead.

peace~elaine

Patrina's Pencil said...

Sassy,
What a powerful story of deliverance. Speaks volumes of the simple faith of a child. I love this. It is so invigorating to my own faith. Oh how big and wide is the Love of God!

thanks for sharing this story of simple faith and God's simple rescue. Yeah God!

Patrina <")>><