My Own Prison
23 years ago this one scripture verse set a man born in slavery free. It broke a generational curse of addiction over my family. I was watching TBN, yes that is right Christian television! Imagine God using Christian television to set a sinner free:) Don’t ever discount what God can and will use to reach people. I was an unchurched 19 year old so to be 20 year old at the time. It was 3 am in the morning John Jacobs and the Power Team was on TBN crushing ice, breaking bats and breaking hand cuffs. I was amazed at their feats of strength it got my attention. I was trying to dull the pain of my own prison with drugs and alcohol. The prison I found myself in felt like solitary confinement. It was a prison I had built with my own hands. When John Jacobs preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ he then pointed at the TV camera and said, “If you want to be set free all you have to do is ask.” I didn’t even know I had the keys to my own prison!! I got down on my knees and asked Jesus to save me, help me, forgive me and heal me. Right then I was forgiven and free. Everything changed for me. I went and got a job. I changed my appearance to reflect how I felt on the inside. Within seven days I went from smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes a day to total freedom. (I don’t condemn smokers.) In June I threw my one hitter pipe into the field. By July 4 I had my last alcohol. By God’s grace I was out of my own prison. That is the Good News. Staying out of our own prisons is the challenge. Negative self talk, negative peer pressure, the cares of this life, our own evil desires, always seek to lock me back in my own prison. One of the first scripture verses I give away is found in 2 Cor. 10:4-5 it says,
Let this get into your heart today! Our battle and our prison is not of flesh and blood. We must destroy arguments and every lofty thing that comes against the knowledge that we are adopted into God’s family, that we are forgiven, that we are changed, that we are new creations in Christ Jesus. Many times we create our own prisons using the past as evidence against us. We must no longer live out of the memory of the past we must begin to live in the present and live for the future God has intended for us. We must escape our own prisons. We do this by taking every thought that is contrary to who God says we are and make it obedient to Christ. This is an ongoing daily battle. I know it is for me! I have heard it said, ‘The next time the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.” The next time the devil, your negative self talk or negative self thought start to paint a picture of your future that is contrary to God’s Word arrest those thoughts and put them in prison. We must not lock ourselves up in our own prisons. Look at what Deuteronomy says concerning our battles,
We must not let our hearts grow faint or allow fear or dread to lock us in our own prisons. 99% of what we worry about doesn’t even come to pass. We must allow God to fight for us and He will give us the victory. I am preaching to myself. I love in my own prison as well. My struggle with panic and anxiety seeks to overwhelm me. It seeks to rob my dreams, steal my passion and kill my spirit. Most of the time I am the one building my own prison because I give it my attention and allow myself to be carried away. My only weapons are prayer, fasting and the Word of God. These weapons are more than able to set us free from our own prisons and to keep us out of our own prisons. My prayer for every one reading this blog is that you will see that you have the keys to your own prison. God has provided us the ultimate key His name is Jesus. Through Jesus we can be set free and he who the sons sets free is free indeed. Take it from a former prisoner exonerated by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ who was doing life in a prison built with my own hands. Take it from a man who still battles daily trying to keep himself out of a prison built with his own hands by prayer, fasting and the Word of God. If you want to be free all you have to do is ask. What a powerful statement! That is the easy part, the next part is learning to live like we are free. My identity changed from a drug addicted, alcohol addicted, jobless, hopeless, helpless, doomed young man into an adopted son in God’s family with all the rights and privileges of a prince in the King’s kingdom. I had to change. By God’s grace and the leading of the Holy Spirit. I went a got a job. I changed my friends. I changed my environment. I sought help for my specific addictions. I took ownership and responsibility for my life. I had to learn how to live like a free man. Still to this day I am learning how to live like a free man. Together with God’s help there is nothing we can not do! Let Jesus set you free from your own prison today then start living like you are free. Be encouraged!