Friday, August 24, 2007
About 3 years ago, our church went through a season we refer to as "Staking You Claim". During this time we were asked to create images of our spiritual claims of freedom. I've been reminded of something I wrote during that time, and am finding current relevance in the imagery - the following is what I wrote in 2004:
The worship started with a feeling of great expectation. I could feel the presence of God coming through the instruments, and all I wanted to do was bow down in awe. My body was frozen. A cold sweat covered me. My heart began to beat in a
trembling rhythm, could the people around me feel the conflict welling up inside me?
In the same moment of fear and conflict, my fleshly vision was clouded over with a very distinct spiritual picture. I am inside a wooden, stained, crudely crafted box, I can see through a key hole and I can feel the weight of the lid. I am certain that this
box has been locked for years, because I know this is the reason I cannot move to bow, shout, run, dance, lift my hands, lift my heart in worship. I had seen this picture before, and always from inside of the box. I had assumed that there were chains
around the box, as well as a large lock holding the chains. I had come to accept this position, as I had no idea who held the key to the lock.
This morning was different. I could see the box from another vantage point. This time, I could see the box through God's eyes - His loving voice saying, I didn't put a lock on that box . Look what's stopping you from bowing. He was right, there was
no lock - no chains. There were stones piled loosely atop the lid of the box. Each stone engraved with another lie I had come to know as reality. They read: Unimportant, Show-off, Uncoordinated, Ridiculous, Inappropriate, Unattractive,
Undignified, Simple, Disrespectful. Some of these stones had been inherited, some had been placed with ugly words, some with unapproving eyes, and some because of my own insecurities.
God's spirit swelled inside me - my body was overcome with confidence. I closed my eyes and took one step forward - I stood up inside my box - then another - I pressed against the lid and felt the stones shake - I only had to move five feet. Each step more freeing than the last. Each time I pressed against the lid, a stone fell to the ground. As the stone labeled Inappropriate tumbled, I arrived at my destination, I knelt down, then laid flat on the floor, with my face in the carpet. As I did this, I began to sob. What a simple task that I had denied myself all these years. Beside me the box sat empty for the first time in my life.
I felt the blessings of God raining down on me as I lay there in tears. Since that experience, God has given me many more opportunities to defy those lies. I have discarded the box. Although, I still have lingering fears, each time I come against
them in physical way (bowing, clapping, shouting, raising my hands) I am blessed in wonderful ways.
There is one stone left that I have made into jewelry. This stone says Uncoordinated. I have been wearing it around my neck since I have been outside my box. This stone discourages me from dancing and moving. Each time I feel the
urge to dance, a cold sweat comes over me and I am frozen. I will no longer feed that lie, I will bury that stone!
Like a child I will dance in His presence!
So, that was then... I can honestly say I do not know where that "uncoordinated" jewel was lost, but it's been gone for a while now! (that in itself is a miracle). What's going on now that feels like I'm revisiting this image? Well, I've found that there have been times recently where I've thought I was being held-back from some things... like I wasn't "allowed" do function in certain ways, or "released" to do certain types of ministry... well - those are lies! I know right now with certain clarity that the enemy would love nothing more than having me voluntarily step back into that box of bondage and lies, have a new list of excuses why I cannot do the things that God has for me. Well, guess what? I'm not going back in that box. The constraints that I have thought existed, do not. Knowing that, I will not be held back, I will run forward, as a flagbearer of truth and grace!
On another note... I recognized recently, that although the box was unlocked, I had to physically move in order to live in that freedom. Sometimes our healing requires action on our part. So... what's your box?