It takes a prisoner to know a prisoner. How long have you been here, I asked?
My day of Freedom came not so long ago when I finally realized that all along, I was holding the key to my own prison door. Wait! What? I could have walked out of here a long time ago.
The day had finally come, and the wandering was over when I could leave. I was now free! Truly Free!
How does one stay incarcerated for years and then suddenly realize that they have the freedom to walk out on any given day of their life?
What person in their right mind would voluntarily sit in a prison cell with the key in their hands? Unfortunately, most of us, if not all of us, do on a daily basis. Even though our prison sentence may never look the same, a prison is still a prison.
It's cold and dank no matter how many coats of paint you put on it. You can decorate it with each new trend, but as you lie your head down at night, the coldness of your heart as well as the steel bars that stare you in the face all feel the same. Bone chilling fear and loneliness set in like a horribly long winter season with no spring in sight.
The deep seeded questions, without any answers. No one to comfort you, and no one to rescue you. All the while, time is all you have on your mind. How long will I be here? Will I ever get out of this mess I am in? Will there be anyone who will love and accept me despite the wrong I have done?
For most, we all know this feeling all too well. Being a prisoner is more often the label we wear across our back then a patriotic t-shirt that we wear on the fourth of July. Have you ever considered your prisoner number? Mine was DOC621970. Until today!
As the calendar turns on yet another year, I’d encourage you to ask yourself how long you want to stay here? Your prison that is? Aren’t you ready to “get up on out of here?”
Maybe it's a prison of terrible relationships or a mindset of unworthiness. Perhaps your prison cell is beautifully decorated, while you sit in such deep denial and insecurity that you dare not come out of and be all that God created you to be.
Our prison can be our past sin that we can’t let go of all the while Jesus is saying, “I don’t even remember that sin anymore. Remember, I have put it as far as the east is to the west and to the depths of the ocean floor.”
Friend, Jesus proclaims in Luke 4:18-21, He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free and that the time of the Lord’s favor have has come. I have read that passage and the same one in Isaiah 61 for years, but never did I apply it to myself until now.
I knew the words in my head but never got them down into my heart. It truly can be the shortest 18 inches of death. It has taken me decades to realize that even though I have been in church since my mother's womb, I too was a prisoner of war. A war with the enemy of my soul. A prisoner to the world, or most sadly, a prisoner to myself.
So, today, I am offering you a “get out of jail free” card. A Freedom card so to speak. It costs you nothing. But it costs Jesus everything. The only thing you must do is place the key into the Savior's hand. He is saying, “I have come to set you free!”
The key to your imprisonment may be your divorce, your addiction or your _______ (you fill in the blank). It doesn’t matter why you are there, all that matters is who is there!
King Jesus stands at your cell door and waits for you to step up and over the threshold as the door is now open. Honestly, he is wondering what you are doing?! Staying bound where you were never meant to be. And that is why he has come. To set us FREE!
When this image came to a full realization in my mind, I thought the same thing. What in the world am I doing here? I know what John 10:10 says clearly! The enemy comes only to kill, steal and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
So, I ask myself, why have I waited all these years to live in this fullness, this Freedom?
That answer is still taking some time, but what I do know is this, I am never going back there. I am not stepping one foot in that prison cell ever again. I am not sleeping one more night. Time is short, and Jesus paid too high a ransom for me to squander that away on foolish thinking.
I am inviting you to come with us. To walk out of your prison and away with Jesus.
Although we may not have a clue where we are headed, he does and that's all that matters on the road to Freedom! Are you coming?