From the minister's desk
“How To Survive Various Prisons”Categories: from the minister's desk
Another practical lesson that everyone regardless of age or status in life can benefit from if understood. Though many of us may not enter an actual brick and mortar prison with bars, razor wire and armed guards, everyone will experience a prison situation or mentality. Prison is defined as a state of confinement or captivity; a place of confinement, detention, isolation, custody. Whether one is in an actual prison or think they are, both can be devastating and corrosive to one’s mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
The idea and understanding of being in a physical prison are easier seen and understood than the mental and spiritual. One is physically locked up, confined, detained, isolated from main society and in the custody of a system. There are bars, guards and fencing to keep one contained. They are in prison because they are guilty or there was a miscarriage of justice.
A mental prison is where one confines or isolates themselves in a certain situation or circumstance. An individual may see their relationships, jobs, finances or way of life as a prison. This represents a prisoner without bars. Most of the times, we create our own prisons or imprison ourselves. Just like we lock ourselves in we can let ourselves out! Examples: We decide who we want to talk to, associate with, help or let help us. Then when they don’t respond the way we want or think they should we become angry, discouraged, disappointed and even go into seclusion/isolation. Someone does something to us we don’t like or is not right. We get angry, try to get back at them instead of forgiving them and when we can’t, it discourages us, we become bitter and carries a grudge the rest of our lives. We do this to ourselves even when we know the truth that frees us! We become ‘a prisoner without bars.’ Solomon writes, “don’t say I will do so to him as he has done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.” Prov.24:29 One can free themselves from their own self-imprisonment once recognized and a desire to be free manifests itself.
A spiritual imprisonment is allowing the flesh to influence the spirit. “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. The flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary one to the other; so that you cannot do the things that you would.” Gal.5:16-17 Our spirit needs spiritual food and guidance to contend with the flesh and its desires. If the flesh is allowed to be the stronger, the spirit will suffer. Knowing that “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” as Jesus said, our spirit man wants to do as the Spirit of God wants, but if the weak flesh has more influence over our decisions and desires that our spirit does, the spirit will lose. One can free themselves from spiritual self-imprisonment by listening to and obeying God. If one cannot get out or escape, being aware and striving to survive can help. Survive- continue to exist in spite of danger/hardship; pull through, hold on/out.’ The Lord can make a way for one to maintain in situations beyond one’s control.