There are times when it seems unfair that the array of response options I have now as a prisoner of Christ have been drastically reduced. These have been taken off the menu: a slipping expletive to amply express the degree of emotion, impeccably apt descriptions of “despicable” actions, putting people in their place the old way, grumbling, and other things. It can come across initially as repression. But a closer look proves that as prisoner of Christ, God frees us from the resulting boomerang of unnecessary troubles that accompany these fleshly gratification options.
Earlier last week, I had restless sleep as every so often in the dark, I awoke with internal grumblings like a boiling pot of beans. blop. blop. blop. blop. blop. blop. On and on in alternating wakings, my conversation with God went: Why do you always train me? Why are those people able to do as they please without as much as a bonk on the head?
Then I went to Bible Study. As I listened to the message about how Jesus chose to go through unbearable suffering so that through His death to pay for my sins, I might have a chance to have eternal life, to be rescued from my old hell-bound life to spend eternity in heaven as God’s child, I was deeply moved. “Not my will but my Father’s will be done”. Jesus Himself went through being a prisoner of the Father’s will. For my sake. I tend to forget that (when I received and believed in Jesus’s name to be my Savior John 1:12) as God’s child, I have been set apart. I have eternal benefits that are out of this world that nothing of the oooh- and aaah- worthy sensations available in this earth can even begin to compare. The best career, the best designer clothes, all the votes are worthless in hell.
A dear sister in Christ texted me this message:
“Am so touched to see you. I wouldn’t be serving the Lord now if you hadn’t been there for me 🙂 I love you with the love of the Lord. See you next week :)”
She used to be in the group that I led. Now she is leading her own group. God led her there. He didn’t need me. But He allowed me the privilege to take part in His work. Every woman in that new group represents a family, a place of work, friends, people who need the Lord. More people who will want to make their lives right and be less treacherous, to seek and share more wisdom than foolishness, to sow more goodness than evil, to make more peace and less war, to be relationship builders instead of tearers (not the politicking flattery to get a free meal kind of relationship building), to be givers more and takers less, to leave this world a better and not a worse place than when they entered it.
I was doubly moved. And convicted of my wrong perspective. My dear sister in Christ was a stark reminder that being a prisoner of Christ is worthwhile. Ironically, while “prisoner” sounds limiting, when you add “of Christ” to prisoner, it opens up to limit-LESS possibilities for me as a child of our limit-less God. It enables me to have divine FREEdom that leads to true life. What used to be acceptable freedoms that I miss turn out to be worthless.
Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word
Thank You Lord for setting the right boundaries within which I have freedom to move. Within these boundaries is my abundant Garden of Eden where I have so much variety and quality of life. The few things that You restrain me from doing, You know are not good for me. They appeal to my flesh and my finite mind but You who know everything know better. There is no good thing You are withholding from me. During the times when I do not understand why I am being deprived or when I feel the injustice of being deprived, Your grace is sufficient for me for Your power is made perfect in my weakness. You, my God, will supply all my needs according to Your glorious riches in Christ Jesus.