Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

-About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

–Acts 16: 25-26

-On June 12th, 1999, I married my wife Kim. I stood in front of friends and family, witnesses and God, and declared that I would love her and be faithful to her, for better or worse, until death do us part…

It was a one-time decision. But that was not the end. It is also a decision that has to be rechosen every single day.

–Joshua Becker, “You Choose Your Life Every Day,” becomingminimalist.com

-Therefore put on the full armor of God…with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

–Ephesians 6: 14-17

I was in the prison of my sin, cowering in a dark corner of hopelessness.

CREAK!!!!

Jesus opened the door to my cell. He had paid the fine. All the papers were signed. I had only to let Him write His name on my heart…and I was free to go…to run into His arms, into the love of Jesus.

Would I believe? Would I take that step? Would I receive His love, His gift of salvation? Or would I be overcome with doubt, be ruled by cynicism? Would I stubbornly cling to my need for control? Insist that I was “just fine”…my situation entirely tenable and sustainable…

Would I accept or reject my Savior?

Like the die-hard overthinker that I am, I debated for a spell. Looked into it. Did my research. Took a poll. Which led…not to clarity, but more confusion.

What finally drove me off the fence was observing fellow inmates who’d escaped. They stood before me, unbound. Unchained. There was no deceit, no boasting, no “marketing” in their eyes. I saw joy…and light…and peace. With their whole…being…they silently proclaimed, “This is awesome, and it’s a choice. Your choice. This is not the ‘better’ way; it’s the only Way.”

That simple.

But simple isn’t easy. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done. Those shackles were so unyielding, so heavy, cutting deep into my skin. But once I made the declaration, they just dropped off me. Bam. No longer jailed with sin. Ever yoked with Jesus.

I walked away from my incarceration and never looked back.

And I’m never going back.

Yes, I still wrestle with sin and fall short. Sure, the enemy charges in from time to time…flings a bucket of shame at me, a little acid of unworthiness, some darts of discouragement…

All repelled, because I suit up…every morning.

That’s the other part that’s simple, but not easy…

The daily decision.

Once it’s made, I go to the Word, then bow in prayer, armor shining anew for the pre-battle conference with my Commander.

He released me from death row to new life

Now and forever.

I choose my life every day…

I choose Jesus.

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