Friday, November 19, 2010

Back to the Prison House

Isaiah 42:1-25
     I think about how all of Christ's ways were perfect.  He knew how to act in every situation.  He knew what to say in every circumstance.  He didn't have to be dramatic to get attention, although many might claim that was the reason for His miracles.  He didn't have to call out like a carnival barker to gather a crowd, yet He was always surrounded.  He never had reason to be discouraged, because He knew God's plan.
     In verse 7 of this passage, I read that He would open the blind eyes, that He would set the prisoners free from their prison.   The last half of the verse says:"..and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."  What a beautiful picture of how He rescued me spiritually!  At one time in my life, I was sitting in complete darkness, with a knowledge of God, but not really knowing Him.  Jesus released me from the bondage of sin and instead of sitting in my cell, I can walk out into the open air, into the sunlight, and know that I am free.  I am fortunate that I have never been in a physical prison.  I pray I will never know that experience.  But I do know what it is like being a prisoner to sin, trying to free myself by my own works, and never being able to achieve that.  Jesus paid the price for sin, so I could go free.  He handed Satan the key to my cell, and told him to let me go.  And Satan had to listen.  He had to let me go.  He no longer has any power over me, nor does the sin that had me shackled.  So, when we know that Jesus has released us, why do we so often return to the prison house? 
I Was In Prison--Taken from The Children's Friend (Part 4)
By Mrs. Adelaide Bee Evans
Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1911, 1928
When we return to our sin (which we will, because we are not perfect), aren't we in essence going back to that cell, handing the key back over to Satan, putting the shackles on our wrists, and closing the cell door behind us?  Fortunately, at this point, we can leave the cell anytime we want, because we have been declared innocent and Satan has no power to keep us there.  But why return at all?  The inmate who has just been released into the world  has a long rough road ahead of him.  He doesn't instantly return to his way of life before prison.  As Christians, especially when we are newly saved, everything in our life isn't going to instantly be made better.  We have to let God lead us through His Word, through praying, through church attendance, through taking an active part in our local church. The getting involved part is hands-on training.  Jesus gives us the power to have victory over our sin.  It doesn't happen overnight.  Yes, he freed us from sin instantaneously, but we still have a sin nature that will always want to keep us locked up.  I need to follow Him in every way that I can.  I don't want to go back to the prison house.

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