Are You in Prison?
May 5, 2016 • By Ed Wrather
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:28 NKJV.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. – Matthew 10:30-31 NKJV.
The headline is: “The Longest Armed Stand-off in American History Ends.” John Joe Gray was stopped for speeding and arrested in December 1999 for having rifles in his car, and for biting the arresting officer. Gray was released on bond, but never left his 47-acre plot of land after his release; threatening to shoot any officers attempting to arrest him. The charges were dismissed in December 2014. The District Attorney, however, failed to notify Gray of the charges being dropped, and Gray did not know until January 2016 that he was no longer a wanted man. Why didn’t law enforcement attempt to arrest the man? Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt said, “Joe Gray has been in prison out there himself, in my opinion, for 14 years.” Chuck Norris met with Gray in 2000, and offered to obtain free legal representation for him, but he still refused to leave. (Mail Online 03.06.16 and various other news venues)
Are you in prison? No, not a literal prison, but a prison created by your own fears? You likely are not a lazy person that the writer of Proverbs refers to in 22:13 and 26:13, but you still fear there is a lion out there lying in wait for you. Dictionary dot com defines fear as: “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid." Is fear of failure preventing you from serving your God in a greater way? If so, you are in prison. Is the fear of being laughed at keeping you from pursuing your dreams? If so, you are in prison. Is there a relationship that needs to be mended, but you are afraid to take the first step for fear of being rejected? If so, you are in prison.
Some fears are real. Just because someone is paranoid does not necessarily mean that there are not people out there who want to harm them. Moses is an example of that, although he was not paranoid. He had real fears, based upon the reality that there were people out there at one time who wanted to harm him. That is why he fled Egypt after committing murder to defend one of his Hebrew brothers. Even after leading the Hebrew people out of Egypt there were real dangers that Moses had to face. Can you imagine having a couple of million people unhappy with you, and you are living right in the middle of them?
Whether your fears are based on reality, or fantasy, Moses gives an example of how to defeat them and free you from the prison of your fears. In Hebrews 11:27 we are told, “By faith he (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” Overcome your fears; overcome the imaginary lion in the street, by “seeing Him who is invisible.” “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (1 Timothy 1:7).”