Friday, 2 January 2015

Prison Break

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a prison as a place or situation from which you cannot escape or a state of confinement or captivity. Every day we are exposed to situations where we may feel imprisoned, either kept in the holding cell of a temporary situation, held captive for an extended period of time or even isolated in solitary confinement.

The Holding Cell:

The holding cell are those temporary situations we can’t change, but somehow ends up affecting our emotions and reactions. The holding cell can be as simple as traffic or even petty arguments with your siblings, parents or friends. The holding cell can lead to long term imprisonment of your feelings, emotions and reactions if you don’t learn to deal with it there and then. People will always irritate you, time will always go faster than you’d like, there will always be someone who is better than you, richer than you and smarter than you and you won’t always get what you want… but Jesus will set you free if you learn to surrender everything to Him on a daily basis and choose to respond in love as an ambassador of Christ.

“But what does it matter, so long as either way, whether for personal ends or in all honesty, Christ is being proclaimed? And in that I now rejoice, yes, and I shall rejoice hereafter also.” Philippians 1:18

Long-Term Imprisonment:

Long-term imprisonment can mean several things to a number of people. Mine more specifically being insecurity, impatience, fear and frustration. Even memories of one’s past can hold one captive for years on end, like the wrong relationships, bad decisions, distrust, abuse or failure. I believe that it’s in the long term imprisonment that we can either choose to lean on Jesus, accept His grace and let the joy of the Lord be our strength or we can choose to give up hope and not experience the abundant life God has set out for us!

“This is in keeping with my own eager desire and persistent expectation and hope, that I shall not disgrace myself nor be put to shame in anything; but that with the utmost freedom of speech and unfailing courage, now as always heretofore, Christ will be magnified and get glory and praise in this body of mine and be boldly exalted in my person, whether through life or through death.” Philippains 1:20

Solitary Confinement:

This can be defined as a form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is isolated from any human contact. Ever felt like you’ve had to make a decision or go through something completely alone, that turning to friends and family or even to Jesus felt somewhat impossible? Ever become so consumed with your life that you have forgotten to spend time with the one who gave you your perfect life in the first place, and you go to bed wondering why you have a yearning for something that can’t be satisfied? The moment we isolate ourselves from God, we find ourselves in solitary confinement. The only way to set yourself free is to make a choice, a choice to run towards Jesus at all costs knowing that the confinement you are in is only temporary! Sometimes we are put in an environment to show the deliverance and salvation from God as seen in Philippians 1:28

“And [also] most of the brethren have derived fresh confidence in the Lord because of my chains and are much more bold to speak and publish fearlessly the Word of God [acting with more freedom and indifference to the consequences].” Philippians 1.14

Time and time again Hollywood has shown us the impact imprisonment can have on an individual but Jesus and Paul teaches us that our imprisonment can lead to someone else’s empowerment. Sometimes by us being bound, just as Paul was, we have the ability to set others free. We just have to choose to rise above every and any situation and set an example for others to follow. We can’t choose our situations or the length of our sentence but we can choose the way we react and deal with it. Prison will reveal your true motives and the true motives of others in your life.

“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.” Philippians 1:15

You can preach the Gospel through your spirit and willpower to overcome.

How can you set yourself free? It’s simple;  Let your prayers and a bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ turn your prison into your preservation (for the spiritual health and welfare of your own soul) Philippians 1:19

Your prison can develop patience, and patience can develop peace and peace will set you free! My prayer is that in 2015 you will let God give you the keys to unlock peace in your life and to open the gate to freedom in every situation and circumstance.