November 13, 2014

Prison Break

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

What sort of words come to mind when you think of a prison cell?

And what do the words "great cloud" make you think of?
Beautiful day.
White puffy goodness.
Good weather.
Blue skies.

These two mental images certainly conjure up different mental imagry don't they? In our minds they can hardly even simultaneously exist. You can't picture a "great cloud" and a prison cell at the same time {:even though I know you are trying to prove me wrong right now in your mind, just go with me:}. 

So why do we feel like these two pictures can coexist in our lives?

I had a bit of revelation today. 

Oh you want me to share? Well, if you insist...

These past few days have been filled with some pretty huge life decisions and situations that have played with my emotions. Big change often brings some stress, but making these big changes and decisions alone, in another continent, just seems to add another level of difficulty on top of it. I have been stressed and overwhelmed and just constantly praying for wisdom, guidance, and peace in these decisions and in the handling of new seasons. In short, my life just feels a bit heavy at the moment. 

Then I was reminded that I am choosing to live in a prison of my emotions and concerns. 

Emotions, concern, worry, and stress are all normal human emotions. The problem is we allow them to imprison us. The wrong is not in feeling these emotions, but rather living according to them. In Matthew 16:19 God says that he has given us the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven. 

In the Kingdom the there is nothing imprisoned because Jesus brought with Him freedom not constraint. However, concerns, worry, fear, and stress are not from Jesus and are weapons the enemy uses to throw us off track. So yes, your worry and stress and fear all belong in a prison cell, because they are not things of the kingdom, but you don't belong in there with them. So bind those fears, worries, and stresses, throw them in the prison they have tried to put you in and then turn the key. 

It's time to make a prison break and live the life we are meant to live outside in the "great cloud".
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