My Heart's Home

February 12, 2011

Let Freedom Ring

Filed under: Prayer — My Heart's Home @ 8:40 am

Craving a large glazed donut, a bottle of soda or spearmint gum? No problem, right? Just a quick drive to the nearest grocery store and satisfy that urge. But what if someone steals your car keys? What if your wallet is fleeced? What if the nearest store is 100 miles away?

What if your freedom is confined to a 6′ x 8′ prison cell? Minutes, days, months and years pass.

35 years total.

Wouldn’t these treats taste pretty sweet after all that time? Bet freedom would taste even sweeter.

Just ask James Bain who was freed in 2009 after being falsely imprisoned for 35 years for a rape he didn’t commit. When asked if he was angry, he said he wasn’t “because I got God in my hands.”

Wow. Not sure that would have been my first response.

His initial requests are so simple: a large glazed donut, a bottle of Mellow Yello and some spearmint gum. Every day items I take for granted. I began to wonder what else I take for granted not being a prisoner: owning sharp objects like my letter opener, scissors and knitting needles; my comfortable King-size bed; my own bar  of soap; my own shower; privacy when I shower; a walk-in closet containing a full wardrobe in an assortment of colors and designs—not just orange or striped; my toilet not adjacent to my pillow; a jar brimming with Double Bubbles; Starbucks coffee I grind myself every morning; wearing makeup; a fully stocked pantry at my fingertips; visitation rights every day with my husband and son; making vacation plans; taking a vacation; gazing at clouds, rainbows, butterflies; inhaling fresh air…


Cornelius Dupree was freed last month after serving 30 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Bet freedom tastes pretty sweet to him, too. “I feel that words won’t make up for what I lost,” Dupree said. Even so, “It’s a joy to be free again.”

Jouanna Thiec was imprisoned at 16 in 1685 for being a Calvinist in France after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes. She was imprisoned 73 years and released at age 89! Even if she had to be wheeled out in what was called an invalids chair back then, I bet that didn’t slow down her enthusiasm! I’m sure freedom tasted succulent to her, as well.

Can you imagine spending the majority of your life in prison? I can’t imagine 30 years, let alone a lifetime behind bars. What if prison bars are all you’ve known and freedom is a stranger? Would we miss freedom if we’ve never tasted it? How many of us have spent our lives living behind invisible prison walls? What if we’ve never truly trusted all God’s promises? What if we’ve never formed a close relationship with Him because our heart has been scarred too many times? What if we’ve never allowed Him to heal those wounds? What if we are viewing Him through a tainted lens that needs cleansing before vision is restored? What if we’ve been walking silently beside Him all along, but have never reached out to hold His hand or strike up a deep conversation with Him?

What if?

I know I have. Even though I’ve been a Christian for decades, my palms preferred coat pockets and my tongue remained tied.

That’s how I used to act as a child when my own biological father came to visit about once a year after the divorce. When I was around 11 he dropped out of my life for 20 years.

My view of God was tainted because I was abandoned by my own Father. Thus, I viewed God as a distant, uninvolved, larger-than-life character. I felt shy and inhibited when I felt Him near and alone, forgotten, unwanted when I didn’t.  I was a prisoner to Satan’s lies for God’s truth says:

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5

We tend to view God based on our relationship with our earthy Fathers, so my vision of my Heavenly Father was skewed. To think I didn’t need healing in this area before I could have an accurate view of Him, would be ludicrous. Yet I didn’t know I needed healing until God showed me.

I’m studying Beth Moore’s “Breaking Free” Bible study and this week we’re learning about “The Obstacle of Pride.”

What if our own prideful walls keep us imprisoned from all the sweetness God has to offer?

In the book it says, God wants to:

  • get to our hearts. Pride covers the heart.
  • free us from hindrances in our past. Pride refuses to look back.
  • treat us with His Word. Pride doesn’t like to be told what to do.
  • set us completely free. Pride thinks he’s free enough.
  • bring us out of dark closets. Pride says secrets are nobody’s business.
  • help us with constraining problems. Pride denies there is a problem.
  • make us strong in Him. Pride won’t admit to weakness.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

I was, and am, a Christian still living in captivity. I’m sure there are many more out there just like myself. Christ came to set the captive free through truth. Satan wants to hold the free captive through lies. I’m on a Spiritual journey now toward living a life of true freedom, of pardoning, of grace. As a sinner I was given the death sentence, but Christ took my place and broke the chains of condemnation, guilt and shame FOREVER. Becoming saved isn’t about asking Jesus into our hearts, then thanking Him for salvation and walking away. It’s about following Him wherever He leads. We’ve got work to do! It’s just the beginning of our Spiritual walk toward freedom. Beth Moore says: “Christians can be miserably dissatisfied if they accept Christ’s salvation, yet reject the fullness of daily relationship that satisfies.” As a follower of Jesus Christ, I want every chain, foothold and prison bar removed from my heart and mind, because I’ve been weighed down far too long. I want to walk daily with my Lord and not let any boulders hinder my path. I don’t want foolish stones of Disbelief, Legalism, Idolatry, Prayerlessness or Pride to weigh me down or keep freedom’s bells from ringing.

I want them to ring out so loud that even the deaf can hear!

James Bain may not be angry after being imprisoned 35 years because He’s got God in his hands.

But an even freer place to be is in God’s hands.

Lord, remove barbed wires around my heart.

Lord, help me face and deal with wounds from my past and any hindrances and give me courage to look back to discover them.

Lord, treat me with Your Word for I am willing to hear and obey.

Lord, loose all shackles for I refuse to be in bondage to anything or anyone.

Lord, bring me out of dark closets and help me live in Your light, fully exposed, where healing begins.

Lord, help me with constraining problems and keep me on my knees, humble.

Lord, make me strong in You and not be afraid to admit my weakness and shortcomings.

Don’t let me waste another day locked up behind invisible prison walls.

Set me completely free!

“If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.”
John 8:36

Click below to hear a beautiful song about letting your prison walls down:

This Is Where The Healing Begins


1 Comment »

  1. Beautiful, Karen! So often we remain enslaved to sin even though Christ has set us free to run and dance and sing…

    Comment by Annette Stonger — February 14, 2011 @ 9:01 pm | Reply

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