When Your Leader Is In Bondage…

Opening for Jonathan McReynolds in Michigan

Over a year ago I was at what I thought was the height of my ministry and I walked away from it all. I sat MYSELF down and put a pause on “Put Some Word On It,” leading worship everywhere, and accepting any speaking engagements.

I sat myself down because I was broken. I had shared my issues with various leaders over the years, but I don’t think they understood the deep desperation of my need for deliverance. At times I was pushed to the side as if I was being “holier than thou” and at other times I felt the judgment of those who couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting over my issues even though they were “discipling” me.

No one could truly see. It wasn’t that I was trying to be self-righteous or religious.. And I wasn’t in love with my sin either. I was just bound!

But I found out during that time that sometimes you can be so “anointed” in an area that the real you is ignored.

However, I was determined to be free! I was tired of leading with lust in my heart, serving with selfishness and stubbornness, living from paycheck to paycheck, and repeating so many generational cycles. I knew God was a healer, but I wasn’t healed yet. I knew that God was a deliverer, but I was carrying burdens that He was supposed to take.

So I sat down. I left checks on the table, status and opportunities behind me, and was led by God to join a different ministry, where no one knew me, and I could learn.

And it was the best decision that I could’ve made! It was through denial of self that I was lead to a place where I’d find deliverance.

You Can’t Disciple A Demon

My pastor often says that deliverance is for the desperate. He also says that you can’t disciple a demon. You have to be delivered from it. I let that sink in and also extended his phrase.

You can’t disciple a demon, and you can’t walk in deliverance without discipleship.

It made so much sense to me! I had some people in my life who wouldn’t even recognize the true nature of my sinfulness while others were trying to disciple me out of something I needed to be delivered from!

Was I demon possessed? Not at all. I was still a child of God. But! I was certainly oppressed by demonic activity. I was chained and I knew it because many times when I wanted to do right, evil wasn’t just present, I found it winning in me.

I could no longer convince myself that I was “in a process of sanctification.” Nah, fam. I had been repeating the cycles for too long. I was in need of deliverance!

And deliverance is just what I received.

Deliverance is for the Desperate

Over the next few months I found myself engaging in a serious war against my flesh. I mean I was seriously not cute for like 7 months! I was crying out to God everywhere, spitting up, manifesting things that I didn’t even know were in me, and just looking crazy, lol.

See, we say that we’re all in a spiritual warfare, but I had never truly seen the Enemy in me for who he was until I became desperate to seek out his hiding places and kill him. When I finally saw him I realized that for years I had called him a friend… or my own personality.

For years I had fought God for trying to “make me fake” or change who I was. For years I had accepted thorns that were not supposed to be a part of my testimony.  I had invited the enemy in to feast at the table of my heart until he became so comfortable that he took off his sheep’s clothing, walked around as a wolf, and I didn’t even recognize the transition.

God Delivers

Apostle Stevenson Prophesying over Sharona Nov 5, 2017

But thank God that when I cried out to the LORD in my trouble, He delivered me from my distress and made me a new creature (Psalm 107:6, 2 Cor 5:17)! I thank God that He has given us weapons that have divine power to demolish strongholds and that through discipleship and submission to godly authority, we can fill the places where we were once oppressed, with good things that help us to maintain our deliverance and grow (2 Cor 10:4).

I am more free, financially stable, and joyful than I have EVER been. I have been winning battles that I had only lost before, and I literally know what it means to be victorious. In November, my pastor, who didn’t know a thing about me at the time, even called me out of the crowd and prophesied that my time of rest from ministry was over and that it was time to come back to music.

Isn’t God amazing?! I thank Him for always causing us to triumph (2 Cor 2:14)!

Are there still areas where God is working on me? Of course! But, I’m becoming more of the woman He created me to be each day and I’m grateful for His patience and the fact that He NEVER loved me any less in my process.

So here’s my advice to any other leaders who are oppressed:

Be desperate for deliverance! It will cost you (maybe even your ministry for a time), but you’ll get back more than you paid for it. You’ll be free to live your life in the light without hiding! You’ll experience the things you teach about… Shoot! You’ll receive more of God!

Signed,
Healed. Delivered. Set Free.