How do you deal with it?
First, let’s define confinement. For our purposes, confinement is “A LOSS OF FREEDOM (OF MOVEMENT)” .
If you’re a convict, you are confined to a state or federal prison somewhere. You may be a “short timer” or a “lifer” . You may even experience degrees of confinement inside prison; from “open population” to single-cell maximum security lock down. However you look at it, you are confined and you know it. Somehow you have to deal with it.
If you’re confined to your house or apartment or even a “managed care facility” (i.e. “nursing home” by any other name!) due to physical disease, injury or deterioration, you are experiencing a loss of freedom of movement. Physically and socially you are hindered and restricted and you are all too well aware of it. Somehow you have to deal with it.
In the first scenario, the convict can do little or nothing about his physical confinement. Another approach, another solution must be found.
In the second instance, the possibility of mechanical aids to increase mobility or new breakthroughs in medication, surgery or physical therapy pose a slight chance for a brighter tomorrow. Realistically, however, most will have to come to grips with how things ARE, rather than how they would like them to be. Another approach, another solution to this dilemma needs to be discovered and applied. Somehow you have to deal with it.
And yet, another category exists: There are countless numbers who are “confined” within themselves; prisoners, as it were, to the cruel “jailer” of their own (seemingly) overpowering and self-destructive compulsions and desires. These people, for the most part, “function” in a normal society; usually going undetected until or unless their inner, secret drives reach the point of total loss of control. Their “confinement” is devastatingly REAL even when they themselves are oblivious to their true condition.
It is at the inner level of this last category that the answer lies. The solution to dealing decisively with each of these “confinements” is in the realm of the inner soul/spirit of man.
Just as prisons, and physical bodies that no longer function as they should, rob us of the ability to move about in geographical and social freedom, so do compelling and destructive desires and obsessive vices ROB us of the ability to grow toward GOD and in loving relationship to other people. Face it, a person driven by self-serving, “gotta-have-it / gotta-do-it-no-matter-what” passions and “needs” will not be free to live in a way that will not take advantage of others. A compulsion-driven person serves his or her compulsion, not the genuine welfare of others. A person with sexual compulsions will find ways to satiate those desires regardless of who is devastated in the process. A person with an obsessive desire to accumulate money and material goods/success/fame will do whatever it takes, and to whomever, to achieve that end. A person who lives to be accepted by the “in- crowd” (or any group) will stop at little or nothing to fulfill that desired goal. All these and more identify the “heart” confined by the ultimate sin of self-absorption and self-will. ALL genuine freedom from the soul-destroying, gut-wrenching effects of confinement - whether of prison, body or soul - must begin at this level.
Today, as you read this, if you are confined in one or more of these “prisons”, you can enter into true, life-giving freedom that no concrete & steel-barred prison, physical/emotional impairment or disease induced limitation can prevent.
Today you can turn with a yielded heart (i.e. the real, innermost “you”) of surrender to the One, True GOD of the Universe who revealed Himself to mankind through HIS Only-Begotten Son, JESUS CHRIST. Admit your sins/and sinful past/present lifestyle to GOD in JESUS’ name; tell HIM you’re truly sorry and remorseful for all you have done in thought, word or deed that is wrong by GOD’s standards. Ask HIM to change you into the person HE created you to be, from the inside out. Ask HIM to use you right in your very situation (limitations and all!) to bring glory and honor to HIM and, in so doing, make your life more meaningful and fulfilling than it’s ever been. Ask HIM to give you a NEW LIFE (11 Corinthians 5:17; John 3:16; John 1:12) and HE will. Ask HIM to deliver you from al ungodly desires and compulsions that have driven and tormented you and ask HIM to give you deep, PURE, “helping- hand “ love and concern for others in the place of your old, self-centered, self-absorbed and self- serving heart.
He’ll turn your place of confinement into an altar of holy joy and service unto GOD and toward your fellow man.
Remember what Florida State Prison Chaplain Max D. Jones used to tell us: “They can lock you up, but they can’t lock GOD out!” GOD, not man, is the source of your victory and of the strength you need to carry it out! Go forth to the battle!
Pray “The CHRISTian Convict's Prayer” with me with a truly sincere heart & mind and then begin to sense & observe the awesome changes HE will perform in you!
A CHRISTIAN CONVICT'S PRAYER
By Larry J. Ries
“Father, in the mighty name of JESUS CHRIST, Now that I have 100% surrendered my heart, my life, my “all” to you, and now that you are calling the shots in my life and circumstances; Because the “old man of sin” that I was is dead, and the “new creation man of righteousness in CHRIST” that I am is alive, From this minute forward, I ask you to use my imprisonment to your Glory and Honor! (I was in prison for a crime. Now I’m in prison for Christ!)” Until such time as your sovereign will determines I should walk free from this physical prison. Your sovereign will has already determined that this physical prison is your assignment for me. The mission field I am to harvest, the seminary, And the Bible School where I am to learn and grow strong is in CHRIST!
Your will for me, love for me, use of me, purpose and plan for me does not begin TOMORROW or “After I get out!’ No! Your will for me begins right here, right now. And I will never please you to any higher degree than I will please you right now, in THIS VERY PLACE. I throw myself all the way into doing your will for me, in this my present place of calling and service unto GOD, towards people in the name of JESUS CHRIST, THE LORD OF GLORY!” Amen!