Today I discovered the greatest, and the most destructive, of my prisons.
Really, I did not discover it.
Jesus took me there.
This is the prison of my rights.
It was a deep and subconscious penitentiary; a moated and lofty castle of my rights, my life, my control, my religion, my opinions, my beliefs, my expectations, my dreams, and my plans.
This was the one castle I would not allow God in.
I had constructed it when I had been hurt as a child, and fear and mistrust came in.
It was a towering fortress for me protecting myself. In this bastion of my rights, no one and nothing could hurt me.
Not even God, Himself.
From here I controlled my life, even my death.
The dilemma though, is that because I am born in sin, it blinded me, and the path that I designed ended in destruction.
A blind man cannot see.
I had a glimpse of this mental fortress. It was a little drought stricken piece of land, exceedingly dry and cracked.
Rain had not fallen upon it for many, many years.
There was one tiny sickly plant that had broken through its cracked terrain.
That little plant represented my rights, I had vowed to defend.
It had shut me in, oppressed, and separated from my loving Creator.
I prayed today, and felt a stone hard place in my soul, close to my heart, where this land resides for all people. It’s named, “hardness and embitterment of heart.”
Everybody owns it.
It’s the created place of past pain, where everybody vows not to be hurt again, and now dwell deceptively protected in this “the land of the hardened heart of my rights.”
If left long undealt with enough it becomes a birthplace for “would be murderers.”
As I interceded in earnest, Jesus opened the padlock to this prison and let me out.
I know now that I can be healed and freed.
Every person partakes of this prison. Every human lives in the parched and barren land of his rights. He will do anything not to relinquish it.
He might even go to hell claiming this land, even if all he has, is its memories.
“Not even God will I let in”, he swears.
It’s all about protecting this little parched piece of land. It’s the little place of safety.
We believe that we know better than God, as we pace back and forth in absolute darkness, in this our tiny castled dungeon, feeling very right, justified and smart.
“I know that God is out to steal this dungeon right from under my feet; He is such a bully”, another protests.
What God has is so much more extravagantly massive, yet in the blindness of pain, we clasp to our detention house.
We are on a miniscule sandbar in the middle of an enormous ocean of blessings that God has for us, but we are so intent on holding on to the sandbar of our rights, that we never look up to see the waters that surrounds us.
“The sandbar is mine”, she says.
“It’s my rights, it’s my opinions, and it’s my life.”
So we give up the colossal for the minuscule, and justify ourselves in doing so.
In reality, the only rights given to us are the right to worship and obey God. I mean, God is the only one who is not blind.
Many will die in this prison, clenching this tiny dust bowl with the last gasp of breath.
I wish that I would have surrendered earlier to the One who can be fully trusted, and who longed to get me out, and not served a miserable 57 year sentence.
I praise God that I am finally out, though.
When will you be done with your sentence?