"And because I preach this Good News I am suffering and have been imprisoned like a criminal. But the Word of God cannot be imprisoned." 2 Timothy 2:9
What is that distorts your view of Him? What is it that impairs your hearing His voice? Could it be the "bars" you have allowed the enemy to place around you? The bars that have no power to keep us imprisoned but do because we think they're real and legitimate. Somehow, the devil has constructed prison bars for us concerning the unhealed wounds of the past, the overwhelming circumstances of the present, and our always lurking fear of the future. As a result, we look at life, and the One who is Author of Life, through those bars. When He speaks, we "hear" Him through the bars, and so His words are distorted, and the devil convinces us they have no power. So we continue to sit in our cell.......looking at those bars.
Have you ever really "looked" at the life of Paul through the bars he was placed behind? Surely his human enemies, and the great satanic enemy behind them believed they had negated his influence, crippled his witness when they placed him there. But Paul knew something more. Like his Lord Jesus Christ, who when told by Pilate that he had power over Him, he could say, "You have no power over me but what the Father allows you." As a result, Paul's witness and life spoke even more powerfully from his prison cell. He knew that neither Christ or His Word could be hindered or made powerless by mere bars, or by any human measure. They could imprison Paul's human frame, but they could not imprison the power of His Life through that frame. The Father and His Word were supreme in whatever condition Paul was in. Paul knew this, was convinced of it. As a result, His most potent letters to the Church were written while he was behind bars.....and chained to his guards as well. Bars, chains.....wounds, circumstances......fear. All are powerless before His Word....if we will believe that. Paul did. Do we?
The witness of men and women throughout history speak to this truth. John Bunyan was imprisoned for more than 10 years because of his witness. Yet through his life, Christ spoke mightily. The wonderful classic "Pilgrim's Progress" was written from his prison cell. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, imprisoned by the Nazi's, and eventually martyred, composed his book of letters from prison. The same is true of medieval mystic Madame Guyon, and the list goes on. And this list includes all those whose names we don't know, but are written on His heart, and who spoke through their lives of the wonder and glory of the Lord. Are our names to be found among them? Or is everything we see and hear being distorted by prison bars that the devil has convinced are greater than He is?
Like Charles Wesley in his wonderful hymn, the Light of Christ and His Word must come into the dungeons we have allowed the enemy to confine us to. The dungeon is a lie. So are the bars. Oh, the circumstances of our lives may be real....but He is more real, and greater than any and all of them. At a word from Him, the bars disintegrate and the chains fall off. He stands at the cell door....can we see Him? He speaks to us through the powerless bars. Can we hear Him? At His word, both are gone. The only question than is, do we believe they are gone for us?