By Stephanie Montague
“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”
The title is an oxymoron. The words don’t go together like a peanut butter and salami sandwich. The title asks a good question. How can you be both jailed and free? Freedom is a frame of mind as Gandhi stated. Your body may be limited but your mind can be free. That may be difficult to believe for many but since I often talk about how our thoughts effect our lives you can understand the power of this. Yet, in this article we are going to talk about the liberty we are given by Christ, as well as, freedom to thrive.
Often, we are our own jailors. We box ourselves in for many different reasons. Personally, there have been times when I have hauled out what I’ve done wrong, reexamine it, relived it, and beat myself with it. The domino effect of recalling my sins has left me weak in my spirit and in my personality. I wasn’t my usual happy go lucky self. It would take me days sometimes to pull myself back up. I found personal freedom when I discovered this scripture; Psalm 37:24 “ Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.”
I was pretty sure I had read this scripture before but one day it illuminated. It became huge in my sight. You mean to tell me I am not discarded? He isn’t done with me? He knows my feet are going to slide i.e. He knows I’m going to make mistakes? We know He knows but it us that has ourselves cast off and undesirable to God. He never thinks such a way about us. In fact, He says, that He will upholdeth (lift us up) with his hand. His hand is always lifting us to higher ground.
Memory is power thing. It can be powerfully positive and powerfully damaging. As Christians we all have heard the scripture, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23 So in our mind we kind of get stuck on the “come short.” We need to combat the power of memory. The enemy is an accuser of the brethren. He wants to remind you over and over again of your shortcomings (that come short from Romans 3:23). So when the memories of your “failures” or sins come up remember what God says; “He has taken our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 and “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25. First look at Isaiah 43:25 He said He remembers your sins no more. No more! Once you have asked for forgiveness He doesn’t even remember what you have done! This is a difficult concept because in our world people never, NEVER let you forget what you said, did or didn’t do no matter how many years have passed. In fact some people will try to go back to your childhood and pull things from way back there in an effort to ground you, make you feel bad, confirm to you or someone else how much of a “nothing” you are. Let me say here your past is just that… the past. It helped to shape you as a person but it cannot break your present day. This day is a present… don’t let anyone take the gift God has given you… another day to move closer to Him, your dreams or your goals. We cannot stop people from recalling our past but we don’t have to relive it. It is important to know that God isn’t pulling out the movie reel of your life and playing them over and over again. He is good and so kind He said He doesn’t remember them. We apply our thinking to His thinking…”Oh God remembers. I have to say sorry again.” But He told us in Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” He doesn’t operate the way man operates.
“He has taken our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:12 He has moved your sins so far they don’t even meet…so don’t let them meet you. At this point you may be saying, “The title says, “Jailed Freedom.” There is freedom in everything said here. Freedom in every scripture used. Freedom from allowing your past failure, shortcomings, and sins to keep you locked in a cycle of memory and repeated pleas of forgiveness. You were never in jail, in bondage, or chained. The truth is the door was opened the moment your received Jesus as your savior. Because John 8:36 says “He whom the Son sets free is free indeed!” You are indeed free.
If today you don’t know this Jesus the one who set the captive free you can know Him. Freedom from being condemned isn’t just for some it’s for all. He died for the sins of the world. He was and is the perfect sacrifice. Yes, He died specifically for you. He looked down the tunnel of time and knew you would need a Savior. Today you can walk in the freedom He paid for with His blood simply say: I believe that you Jesus are Lord. You died for my sins and rose again on the third day. I acknowledge that I am a sinner and I need salvation. I accept you as my Lord and Savior. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Now because you are my Savior, Jesus, “I shall not die, but have everlasting life”. Thank you Jesus. Amen.