DayBreaks for 9/08/14 – Prisons of the Heart
John 8:36 (NLT) – So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.
“In England, police questioned a man about the assault of an 86-year-old woman; then he disappeared the next day. They never gave up their search for him, periodically popping into his home. On one of those visits, eight years later, they caught him. It seems he’d been hiding in a six foot by two foot hole under the floorboards of his living room. He hid so well, that even his children didn’t know he was there, out of fear they might mention it to friends. For the first two years of his self-imposed imprisonment he never saw the light of day; then he began coming out occasionally.
“How much easier would it have been, had he only surrendered at the beginning? What a miserable existence for eight years; so close to what you love, but unable to enjoy it. That reminds me of so many folks who live in prisons of their own making: slaves to addictions, in bondage to sin, imprisoned by choices. It’s certainly not how God wants us to live! In contrast, I think of visiting a young man in jail a few years ago. He was facing life in prison, with all the stress and fear that would bring to anyone. Then he shared this, “In jail, I found a freedom I’ve never known. I’m actually more free now– in jail– than I was on the outside…because now I have Jesus.” – Barney Cargile, Barney’s Bullets, 9/4/14
We are constantly constructing prisons for ourselves through our actions. As in the case of the man in the story, we often build them to “protect” ourselves from criticism, shame, fear of being caught or of being found out.
Some prisons have steel or iron bars on the outside to keep people in. Surely, such prisons are difficult, but they are not as difficult as the ones we may carry inside as we go about our day by day activities. It is easy to see a physical prison and know why someone cannot respond to an invitation, but it is impossible to see the spiritual and emotional prisons that people carry inside. Because we can’t see them, we often judge people as being self-centered, disinterested, stuck-up or aloof….when in reality, they may be locked in a prison.
Jesus and God want us to live in freedom. After all, Christ died to purchase that freedom for us! Let him free you from the prison bars of your own heart!
PRAYER: Whatever prisons we carry with us that lock in our hearts and spirits, Lord, we invite you to tear through those bars and let us walk as free women and men in Your Kingdom! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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