Garments & Spiritual Baggage - Printable Version

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Garments & Spiritual Baggage - DeanZF - 12-14-2007

We had an interesting discussion after a rehearsal this evening and it brought up some teaching we received while at the Las Vegas conference.

There was a heavy emphasis on walking in your own anointing. It came in several different flavors and in many different sessions. I'll share a couple of them because they were all good, but I want to talk about one in particular and how it impacts dancers especially, but all who minister in various and sundry garments.

It started on opening night with the keynote speaker. He spoke powerfully about many things, but one of the points that struck me strongly was his exhortation to the dancers to not simply copy another choreography to a given song. His point was that if Dancer A sees Dancer B move to a particular song and simply copies the choreography or even just lifts the powerful moves, whose anointing is Dancer B moving under? He suggested that it was Dancer B's anointing, not A's. He went on to say that God can work through Dancer A to establish his/her own powerful interpretation of that song, but that God works through us as we work through the process of receiving our own anointing for a given piece. You could draw an analogy to David looking at Saul's armor. David needed to fight the battle with his own weapons, not with someone else's ideas of how it should go.

I've told musicians this for years. "Quit copying the CD! That is THEIR arrangement, for THEIR voices and instrumentation, and THEIR anointing." Further, those songs on CDs are usually--USUALLY--not aimed at praise or worship services. They are designed for concerts and for radio play, NOT for congregational use. Yes, occasionally there are songs that do work, but even those should be adapted to the local situation. Same with dance, flagging, banners, pageantry, or any choreographed or even artistic endeavor! Pray it through, work it through, and God will provide your unique touch on the piece that will affect people's lives.

Someone else made similar comments in a different setting about garments. We made similar comments about banners. Banners need to express the vision of the HOUSE. People who copy our banners or any other maker's banners is doing so because they either are too lazy or self-doubting to work through "their" design, or they recognize the power in a given banner and want that power expressed in their own building. It doesn't usually work that way. God has messages that He wants to express to each segment of the body and He'll often take one theme and run variations tailored to each congregation or banner maker. I've seen maybe 75 "Jesus" banners over the last 20 years. Most of them were very good, most of them powerful or very powerful. None of the powerful or very powerful banners were alike! Just by quoting "The Name" there is going to be power. The word of God is like that and the Word of God even more so. How many ways can we portray Jesus? Hundreds, actually. Think shepherd, commander, savior, redeemer, prince of peace, counsellor, Son of God, Son of Man, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Hope of Israel, and the list goes on and on and on. Each of those could be addressed on a banner with the single word "Jesus" on it, each addressing a different group of people. Who do YOU need Jesus to be for you today??

Now to the biggie for tonight: Garments & Baggage. If you are part of a team of dancers and you have common properties like garments, headpieces, and various worship implements or extensions as Helena likes to call them, do you share those things between team members? Do you share with other teams in your church or your community? Who takes care of your garments? Who cleans them physically, and who cleans them up spiritually?

The woman who taught this lesson was very, very direct. (I've never EVER been to a conference of any type where there was so much "in your face" honesty and direct talk about deep issues.) She talked about Dancer A using Dancer B's garments with permission. They were returned clean and usable. Dancer A put them on and ministered. She felt really strange and odd things began to come over her. The word "lesbian" was one of the descriptors (see? Told you it was BLUNT!) and feelings about dishonest interactions, lies, and other spiritual maladies. Her point was that when you loan a garment to someone, you're subject to whatever spiritual baggage comes along when it's returned. Ideally, the baggage would be righteousness and peace, but too often it's junk.

She made a really great point that with a dance group of any size, it's really important to have someone in charge of garments and properties. That person not only makes sure that things are clean and in good repair, but that person prays over them and cleans them up spiritually, too, soaking them in prayer for power and purpose. The one scriptural example that comes to mind is Elisha receiving Elijah's mantle. There was authority involved, not just a pretty piece of clothing. POWER. Anointing. All the same words here.

Shared this tonight after the rehearsal and the response from one of our dancers who has pretty good prophetic insights was that it was like a particular army during the time of the European plague. She named the general and the situation, but I did not write it down, so it's gone from mind. When I find out, I'll add it to this thread. Her point was that the army had a long march to get where it was going, but that most of the men died from the plague before reaching their destination. Why? How? As their comrades died, the survivors would take weapons, coats, boots, and any other clothing that was in better shape then their own. As they took the clothing and wore it, they also inherited the fleas and lice that came with it, along with the flea bites and infection with the plague bugs and usually death. Most of this death was at least partially preventable. Their clothes were infested and no one knew to clean the clothes before using them.

First the physical, then the spiritual. We can die or certainly suffer severely from other people's baggage. We need to be circumspect about these sorts of issues. Just another avenue of attack against the front line warriors in the spiritual warfare of the hour.