My Pastor spoke of Paul and Silas recently, relating the events prior to their imprisonment by the hands of the masters of the woman who was delivered of the spirit of divination. He spoke of the subsequent beatings they endured just prior to being placed in the inner prison in stocks.
I know we have all heard the story before. He related the importance of prayer before praise as we go forth to reach the lost.
I was moved and inspired as always.
This morning that story came to my mind again as I read a quote from Max Lucado.
"Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free and realizing you were the prisoner!"
There is no inner prison that is harder to break out of than unforgiveness. The stocks of bitterness that can bind your heart will trap you in darkness, preventing you from moving in any direction.
Alexander Pope said "To err is human to forgive divine."
This morning that quote too on a whole new meaning for me. To forgive is divine, is of God.
Therefore your unforgiveness keeps you out of the presence of God, shackled to those feelings of resentment, to remain frozen in place chained to the animosity that you are choosing over forgiveness.
Paul and Silas sat in the depths of prison, beaten, bloody, in pain...but bitter was not mentioned.
The Word of God says that they prayed and then they sang praises and the earth shook and they were freed.
What if part of that prayer was; "God, help me to forgive. Don't allow me to become angry at those that hurt me. I want you to help me reach them."
And then they were able to sing praise to the One who moved in their hearts, removed any hatred or resentment.
Search your own heart today. Are you standing still in God? Do you feel like you are a prisoner to unforgiveness, to bitterness, resentment? Is a past hurt keeping you from your release?
Let me tell you today is the day to break free! This is the hour to bust through the walls of your own self made prison and allow God to heal the wounds that have been inflicted on you!
Meet the One with the key to the door of freedom today in prayer and then shake the foundations of your own prison with PRAISE as He sets you Free!!