"Long my imprisoned spirit lay, fast bound in sin and nature's night; Thine eye diffused a quick'ning ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; my chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee."  Hymn And Can It Be by Charles Wesley....."Satan wants us to believe that there is a place so dark and demonic that Jesus can't come and conquer it.....To that lie we need to speak 4 powerful words; 'Jesus, come get me.' "  Beth Moore
     There are dark and demonic places in this fallen world to be sure, and the fact that we are followers of Christ the King doesn't mean that we will not find ourselves in the midst of them.  To follow Him with all our hearts means that we will definitely, at some point, be walking through the "valley of the shadow of death."  The key here is to remember that while we are following Him, we are also with Him.  It is not our destination.  We are just passing through.  As I heard worship leader Ron Kenoly once say, "When you're going through hell.....don't stop."  Step by step, "follow hard" after Jesus, clinging to Him with all your might.  And when our "might" fails us, know that His might will continue to cling to us.  Satan and his lies will incessantly whisper into our ears that we are in a place too forsaken, too dark, too far gone, that is beyond His rescue, His redemption, His freedom.  Know they are just that....lies.  He can and will break through the deepest darkness with His wonderful light.  No matter how dark the dungeon is that seeks to hold us in captivity, He will cause it to flame with His light.  All and every chain must fall off at just one word from Him.
     We can end up in a dungeon for a myriad of reasons.  As a result of what we've done to ourselves, or what others have done to us.  In response to the devastating losses and wounds of life.  Or because as part of our spiritual journey, we find ourselves, as did Paul and Silas, chained and manacled in the deepest, darkest prison.  And simply because the cost of following Him has led us there.  Whatever the reason, we're going through hell, but as Kenoly says, we must not, cannot stop.  We may feel completely alone, abandoned, forsaken.  Forgotten even by Him.  The father of lies has unleashed hell upon us to make us think we are beyond rescue.  We aren't.  With those 4 words, "Jesus, come get me," He comes.  The dungeon becomes ablaze with His light. The chains that held us immobile fall like string from our spirits and hearts.  We are free.  And then we know something even greater.  He was there all along.  Waiting for us to reject the lie and believe His truth.  Calling out to Him, "Jesus come!," and He does.  He will.  He has. 
     Are you walking through hell right now?  Don't stop.  Has the devil convinced you this is the end?  It isn't.  Christ is the beginning and the end.  For those who are truly His, there is no real end, only more and more of Him.....forever.  He has come to get you.  Let Him.  Now.  The dungeon you've believed is inescapable will flame with His light.  Stand up.  Follow Him out....to your freedom.

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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