Our Father Who Art in Heaven, Hallowed Be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done,
On Earth As it Is in Heaven. Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread. Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those
Who Have Trespassed Against Us. Lead Us Not Into Temptation But Deliver…
by Dan Lord
When you say “deliver” I think: the large, meaty organ that filters the blood, right next to degallbladder and depancreas.
I also think of Prince of Egypt, and all of those emaciated Hebrews churning mud and singing “Deliver us to the Promised Land…”
Thirdly, I think of demons.
That’s three random connotations all in a row, and they don’t belong together except in some lost David Lynch script.
Scratch the first two, then, and consider these facts: we become angry with one another, we fantasize about the ways we would reduce people to humiliated cinders and how people ought to recognize our extraordinary wonderfulness, we grab for the things we want to the exclusion of others and we like to see others fail. If you can’t admit to being a part of this stuff on some level, then you’re just not being honest with yourself.
But we are not each other’s enemies. The nasty, rotten ways in which we all treat each other or would like to treat each other are certainly attributable to lousy choices that we make, but behind it all is a vicious troupe of fallen “powers and principalities” (Eph 6:12) leaping and slithering across the stages of our lives trying to ruin our performances. The correct response is to turn all of their hatred back on them by accepting death: the death of our pride, the death of our will to power. When we do this in Christ, who showed us what “dying to self” really means, we do something for which our spiritual antagonizers have absolutely no comeback.
Evil spirits are real. Our Father in heaven knows it—he sent His only Son precisely to deliver us from their power. Jesus was who those emaciated Hebrews in Prince of Egypt were really yearning for, though they didn’t know it—so I guess that connotation is relevant, after all. Not the “deliver/degallbladder” thing, though…that’s just an obnoxious pun.
Dan Lord is a writer, a recovering rock star (my words, not his) and has a great blog called That Strangest of Wars. I asked him to cover this particular word because of his fascinating experience with the concept of deliverance, which you can read about here.