You know, it is amazing how quickly this year is going by. Just the other day it was the 31st of Dec., and now it is already the 4th of July again. I had no idea we were close to Independence Day celebrations again until I saw the seasonal fireworks tents springing up all around our little town. Just when I came to the realization of this, it occurred to me that the scripture that really spoke to me this week is Acts 5: 17-25. It was amazing to realize that God had been ministering to us about being set free, and walking out of our prison doors, without my even realizing that the 4th of July was around the corner.
Please allow us to give you a quick summary of the referenced chapter; Peter and some other apostles had been out preaching when they got picked up and taken to jail, but in the night, an angel of the Lord came and opened the prison doors and brought them out, and suddenly they were free, free to go and continue the work they had started. I spent some time thinking about what the prison doors signified, and I came up with a list that included some of the following: stagnation, hindrance to progress, frustration, no forward movement, being stuck and much more. Personally, I found it to be an eye opening experience. I am sure that if we all took a genuine stock of our lives, we would all find areas, including our marriage relationships, where we feel one of the above. But praise be unto our God who causes us to triumph! There is absolutely no situation in your marriage that He cannot deal with; if you so desire He can send angels to go forth and open your prison doors.
But let’s not put the horse before the cart. We would like you to participate in a simple exercise, and take some time to ask God to show you those prison doors in your life, and in your marriage. Some of these prisons may be totally obvious to you while you may not even be aware of others. It is God’s desire that we experience His independence in every area of our lives, in our homes, marriages, family life, children, health, finances, ministry and spiritual walk with Him. He desires to deal with everything holding you back from being all that He has called you to be, and also desires that your marriage accomplishes the cause for which you both were brought together. Satan’s greatest plot as it regards our homes is to see to it that we are held back, being stuck and frustrated so that we cannot accomplish the CAUSE.
If you read through that reference text you will notice that the apostles were set free and instructed to GO. There was an assignment, a reason, a cause for which they were set free, and they took a step of faith to obey. They were instructed to go back out there and preach the word, and they did just that. They could have deliberated on what awaited them on the other side of those doors, they could have been concerned about an angry mob waiting to crucify them or anything worse, but No, they stepped out in FAITH to obey. They refused to dwell on the Fear of the terrible what-ifs, even though they would have been realistic and founded fears. Furthermore, when their accusers came back to look for them, they were gone, set free, no longer in their prisons, but in the place of service, in the place of purpose, in the place of destiny. They were found in the CAUSE for which they had been set free.
How about you? How about your marriage? What will be said of your marriage? Are you ready to have your prison doors open? More importantly are you ready to walk through them? Some of us get the doors open but we are so paralyzed by the fear of the terrible what-ifs that we stay stuck in prison, just like the dog that always went to the door of the cage and got electrocuted until he stopped trying and when the electrocution finally ceased he had become mentally programmed by the fear of electrocution that he never tried to get out and lived the rest of his life in prison even though the doors were open. He stayed bound by a mental stronghold. Please, don’t let the fear of what may lie on the other side of your freedom hold you back. Step out in faith, step out at His word so that if the enemy ever comes looking for you he will not find you in your usual comfort spot, he will not find you bound by nicotine in the same smoke shop, or bound by alcohol in your usual bar, or bound by pornography on your media sources or by the anger that is ripping your home apart, or the low self-esteem that is killing your marriage or the bag of excuses that you have carried around for so long. Let him come looking for you and find an empty spot in your usual prison cell, let him come looking for you and find you setting others free, and living in victory and sharing with others the same words that set you free. Let him come looking to deal that final blow on your marriage only to find out that your marriage has been set free and you are in the CAUSE, fulfilling the purpose and destiny for which you were set free.
Enjoy the Independence of God, as you have a Happy 4th of July.