May
23

Experiencing God in prison

By admin  //  Devotionals  //  No Comments

‘I, Paul, [am] the prisoner of Christ Jesus …’ – Ephesians 3:1 (NIV)

There are some prisons we get into that are the design of the enemy, and when we find ourselves there we ought to break the devil’s bars and we shall be free. But there are other prisons that the Lord himself allows us to go into. There are times when God allows circumstances and situations our way that would seem to imprison us. We pray, bind and loose but we can’t get out. The truth is that we cannot bind God.

The Apostle Paul was quite a man. He was locked up in prison by the decrees of the Roman government yet he said he was ‘the prisoner of Christ Jesus’. Imagine this zealous crusader unable to go to all the places that burned in his heart to go and preach. Yet it was in understanding how to experience God in prison that he turned this prison season into one of the most fruit seasons of his ministry. You see, most of his epistles were written in prison.

There are two things we must do when we feel imprisoned. Find out if it’s God’s place for you in this season. Ask God. If you are where you should be then don’t try to run away even if you can (sometimes we can). It might be that you find yourself under a leadership that seems not to give you enough space to strive. If God shows you that you are in his place for you in this season then please stay in that prison. Secondly, when you find yourself in prison, instead of grumbling and complaining, open yourself up to God’s grace.

Take the example of Joseph. He was put into prison because of the lie of Potiphar’s immoral wife, but it was part of God’s plan for him. It was the road to the throne that God had prepared for him. We must not try to fight God when he allows circumstances and situations to land us in prison. Instead let us learn to experience God even in prison.

The bible says, ‘the Lord was with him (Joseph in prison), he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” (Gen 39:21 – NIV). In spite of the walls and chains of the prison Joseph continued to experience God.

The bible says, “the Lord was with him”. The truth is that even in prison God does not abandon us. God wants us to continue to experience his presence in our lives even in the wilderness seasons. He wants us to keep drinking of him and growing. A dear sister wrote me recently about the marital troubles she was facing. Her backslidden husband is now with another woman.  Then she added, ‘Nevertheless, God’s joy is still in my heart. I know he has a plan for me and for my family’.

There can be joy in spite of the prison as we begin to experience God’s presence. No matter what you face please determine to make “the Lord is with him” a reality in your life.

Joseph experienced the kindness of God in prison. Though God didn’t bring him out of prison immediately, he gave him a testimony of his kindness in that prison by doing a lot of things for him and touching lives through him. God wants you to experience his miracle working power in your prison. Often we are so focused on getting out of the prison that we are not open to God’s leading in any other area. But we need to remember that though we are in prison God is not in prison.

A bishop friend of mine was married for 14 years without any child though he desired, sought and prayed for it. But he was focused on God and on being all God wanted him to be. Because of that he and his wife were experiencing God’s kindness in many other areas of life, so much so that they were praying for barren couples who in turn were having children. They did not allow their prison to limit their usefulness. They adopted several children and some are pastors today. Their ministry grew so much that it became international. After 14 years God brought them out of that prison and gave them a baby boy of their own when the woman was very close to 50 years of age!

A time comes when God will bring us out of the prison, but in the meantime God wants us to experience his kindness in the prison in which he allows us to be. It will take trusting in his goodness enough to choose joy instead of grumbling and complaining; it will take choosing to feed on him daily staying focused on growing into his likeness. It will also take not allowing our outward prison to imprison our minds and so limit God and all that he wants to do through us while in prison.

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