imageWhat is your prison cell?

Maybe it’s your marriage.
Maybe it’s your workplace.
Maybe it’s your health.
Maybe it’s your finances.
Maybe it’s your living conditions.
Maybe it’s your own attitude.
Maybe it’s your mind.
Maybe it’s an issue with people.
Maybe it’s social media.

Or maybe you are in the same situation as the Apostle Paul with real confinement by incarceration. Whatever the situation is, MINISTER THERE! Be a vessel there. Many moments you will have to speak victory over your own life! The choir is not coming home with you, the sermon is over, friends go home and people move on. Now what? We make everything such a huge factor when that is not the solution for us.

The prison should never limit you!
Nothing can limit the work of God!

Sometimes we can even remain stuck being a prisoner of our past! We never move forward. We just stay stagnant over past relationships, past abuse, past pain or any type of uncomfortable experience. We fail to progress.

But we can’t remain there! Remember, God promises to restore all that we lost! God promises to heal the brokenhearted. God promises…but we want to remain in our own type of prison. Why?

What are you so fixated on?
What is the stronghold?
Why is the wall still up?
What has you confined?

To be confined is to be limited or restricted or unable to leave a place because of illness, imprisonment, etc. Sometimes we are not able to leave a “place” that we have built up in our minds or because of our situations. We become limited and restricted

LET IT GO!
BE FREE!

You know I had come to imagine Paul in that prison cell. Dirty, hungry, scrawny, sitting on a concrete surface and using THIS opportunity to encourage himself and the church. In your place of the worst–what do you find yourself doing? Discouraging or encouraging? Stressing or stretching your faith? Isolating or coming out from the dark into the light?

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
Philippians 1:12-14

In all of this Paul learned the secret to keep his peace despite the circumstance. In every situation there was a way for him to still excel and advance no matter where he found himself.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:9

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Philippians 4:12

We just need to leave it in the hands of God. During all testing and trials, keep the faith and keep speaking life. Speak life to others…Maybe your situation IS EXTREMELY difficult, but being in a prison for real is difficult, yet they manage a way. They find hope. They find peace. They find joy. They release from all and that is through God. That is the best ministering, when you know what it is like to pull through when you have had some ‘chains’ in your life.

Let’s lift up our eyes to Him and give this up in a prayer…

“Dear Lord,
We are going to vet this out together. I don’t care how long it takes at this point, for I am not sure. I have been asking, questioning and pondering all of these things. But I recognize that I can no longer be confined because of my pain or problems. Break me out of a prison mentality. I have reached the end of my rope and have reached a point of NO RETURN. What cannot be is the reality and so is the pain that accompanies that truth. There is a point where we say – SO BE IT! LET IT BE! It is what it is and I am now letting go–because I am thinking this is how. In my mind, I clearly see what is left to do…nothing but just let it all out and all go until it has all gone out and has gone away from me. Help me in this. I know that YOU are not going anywhere and that YOU are not going to leave my side. Help me cope each day in a new life, for you are my coping mechanism. You are my shoulder to lean on. You are my arm and strength. You are the One who will hold me up when I feel none. Every tear shed is one You know all too well and are familiar with all my grief–I am not afraid. When things try to surface, I will keep releasing it all and hold on to none of it, until it has all gone out of me and away from me! This is it! There is nothing else–but a new found hope in You. I want to know You more and I want to grow. I know that in all that I have experienced, my ‘chains’ will advance the gospel and establish a true purpose. And I thank You Lord for keeping me through it all.”
Amen

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