by Texas Stready
Went to Ormond Beach a few weeks back, where I spent Friday and Saturday telling my story to four different groups of prisoners. Endings stats—200 inmates received Christ for the first time and 328 rededicated their lives.
I think it’s safe to say that few people ever get to experience something like this. Having been where these people are makes it such an honor to go back. Voluntary Incarceration. Trust me when I tell you it’s the only way to go. I get to come home at night. Can’t beat that. In addition to that I get the wonderful privilege of giving undeserved love to those who’ve been robbed.
Hebrews 13:3a (GNT) tells us to: Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them. Spending a day where they’re forced to live is a fabulous way to walk out this command. Volunteers Needed (http://inmateencounter.com/index.htm)
Same Kinda Different
You’re more like them than you care to admit—so let me tell you like I tell them. “You’re getting robbed and don’t even know it. And worse than that, tomorrow’s news report will tell you the enemy’s weapon wasn’t even real. So I say to you today—get up, already, and fight back.”
Each of us is quick to say, “How dumb,” when the report’s about someone else. But when we’re under the gun, intimidation and fear can cause us to lay down and submit to the wrong authority—same as those in prison. Then we’re the ones who end up held captive by the intruder’s illusions.
It’s not dumb. It’s a well designed scheme that’s been masterfully executed to take what’s ours and leave us feeling foolish. Remember, what I believe about myself determines my behavior. The enemy of our soul won’t be satisfied until we’re dead, and the “feeling dumb” part is only a set up for his next heist.
What Will Your “Bottom” Look Like?
No one needs to tell you the issues you struggle with. And on top of that, no matter how many times someone tells you, or you happen across some beautifully written online solution—no truth you encounter makes a difference until you believe it enough to act on it.
For example: you can have great brakes in your car, but if you don’t believe they’ll stop you enough to step on them, you’ll crash and burn. Hit bottom, as they say.
People are quick to quote Isaiah 54:17
- “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.” – As if we’re untouchable.
- But this only works when we apply the entire verse and here’s the rest of it – “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me, declares the Lord.”
Do or Doo-Doo
Servants are obedient, active participants and that’s what guarantees them provision in every situation. This is how you keep from getting robbed—become a servant of God. Not a slave, a servant. A slave is abused but a servant is taken care of.
If you’ve given your heart to Christ you don’t have to be entrapped by lies. You are a citizen of the Kingdom of God and you now have a choice. Will you choose to be obedient or will you remain fooled by deception?
This seems like an easy decision but please be reminded, servants are fully committed to doing the work. There’s always work to be done. That’s life. And if you’re not willing to do what’s required, you’ll end up trapped in a whole heap of doo-doo.