Apples of Gold

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Prisoners set free

God sets the prisoners free.

Psalm 146: Verse 7

I have been a Christian now for a good many years, and I have never heard anyone preach a sermon on this text. I have often felt that my soul has been bound in a spiritual prison. I have been keenly aware of God hedging me in, kept a prisoner within confines that He alone has set.

There may be many others who feel 'trapped' in their spiritual lives. I have seen many a parent experiencing  it when, instead of being involved in just about everything that happened within their church, they were confined at home to look after their young children. Others, perhaps through pressures at work plus having to cope with a young family after work, simply do not seem to have the energy or zeal that they once had for the things of God.

There may be Pastors who have served in their present congregation for a number of years, but, gradually, things have "dried up," and they find themselves getting into a 'monotonous' routine with little vigor left for the task in hand. They may feel that it is time to move on, but until a call comes from on High they feel trapped by circumstance like prisoners.

There may be still others who feel trapped by family commitments or stuck in places of employment that they may not have a heart for. They long to be free and experience the liberty of the children of God. But today the doors remain firmly closed.

For years I had a desire to serve the Lord in Romania. I loved the place and I the people, and many an hour I spent praying that God would somehow set me free to let me serve Him there. I longed to be "somewhere else!" I honestly felt that I was 'locked' in prison.

The desire continued for almost a decade, and - believe me my friend - it was a fervent desire. The desire itself took up most of my waking hours. I thought of nothing else.
Often I tried to 'force' open the necessary doors that would set me free, but this led only to pain and even more frustration.

Today I praise God for closed doors!

It takes courage to ask God to open doors. But I believe it takes even greater courage to ask Him to keep other doors locked! Our desires, though genuine enough can be so wrong! Admitting we are wrong is not something that we are good at.

One of my favourite films of all time is 'The Great Escape.' Knowing my rebellious nature, if I had been part of that group of prisoners of war, I am sure that I would have been Chairman of the Escape Committee.

How wrong it is to try and 'force' God's hand in things.

We try to justify ourselves by saying it's a step in faith, when in reality it is presumption! My friend, please do not make the same mistakes that I have made.
If today you are feeling like a spiritual prisoner, trapped by your circumstances whatever they may be, then WAIT!

I know that it is a difficult posture to assume when your insides are almost exploding with impatience, but let God be the One to open the door.

If God shut the door on the Apostle Paul's attempt to go to Asia then again to Bithynia shall He not do likewise for you and I? If God wants us to be in 'Troas', then be sure that all other doors which lead not to Troas will remain closed!

God does all things well.

His timing is perfect, His way is perfect the only problem is that sometimes WE get in His way! Let the all-seeing, all powerful, all knowing God set you free in the way that He chooses.
He knows our hearts and He knows what we desire. If you will but commit your way to Him, then you can be sure that the desire that He Himself has planted in your heart will be brought to pass. Trust Him.

In a very true sense we are all prisoners of sin. The Christian is daily perplexed by the shackles of sin. We long to be free from sin, not just cleansed from it. The Christian longs for Home. He lives to die because that is the door that leads to the Land of Beulah.

It will not be long my friend before each one of us will bid farewell to this scene of time. Sin will be left behind and then we shall truly know the blessing God commands - life that shall never end.
Do not be faint hearted today, do not be weary in well doing, do not be cast down, though you may feel trapped by a monotony that you find suffocating. No my friend - take heart!  It is God who sets the prisoners free.

Perhaps today He has allowed you to start your 'long walk to freedom.' The Truth shall set you free. God is Truth. His Word is Truth. Live by it and you shall be free indeed.
Though I have often experienced my heart breaking due to circumstances, yet this morning I can honestly say that He has done all things well.

Author : Iain Mackenzie   Edited by : Pastor Al Moak