As a follower of Christ rules are to be received with open arms and willing hunger. Yes, hunger.
[Rom 1:20 KJV For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:]
In Romans 1:20 we read that the invisible is understood by the visible. By taking natural everyday “things” you can understand God in greater measure.
[Zec 9:12 KJV Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee; ][Phm 1:1 KJV Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,]
1. a person who is confined in prison or kept in custody, especially as the result of legal process.
2. prisoner of war.
3. a person or thing that is deprived of liberty or kept in restraint.
Prisoners of hope and of Jesus Christ, OT and NT declarations of being a prisoner unto God.
Although our world states that a prisoner is a bad thing, when you look at it from the point of a criminal. Let’s look at water; wide open and without restraints, it’s very clam and pliable. But put water through a hose, channel or even constricted by wind and you have power. Guided power that can be used for good or bad. This may seem like elementary and everyone knows it; but when did you last apply it to beliefs? Or even the way you live life. We hear people shouting freedom, but what do they want to be “free” from? Is freedom doing whatever one desires without restriction? Or is freedom only found within constraints, as a prisoner?
What a question right? But think of driving, if there were no stop lights, what would happen? No double lines, traffic signs or on/off ramps. If everyone wants to freely drive where they want, at whatever speed they deemed reasonable and without any “rules” of driving to be implied; would it not become unsafe to not only get in a car, but to walk anywhere cars are moving. Think of all the accidents that happen within the rules. And also think of the law enforcement officers, someone is needed to maintain the rules. Is there not more freedom within the constraints of rules, then without rules?
When you make yourself bound to the laws of the land, everyone is safe to live freely within the laws. Here you are a prisoner (bound by law), yet with more freedom. Likewise when you’re living in Jesus Christ, you are under the laws of the kingdom of heaven. The law of liberty is one that reaches to the heart, not just the action. If you stop hate in your heart, you will not have murder, the action. It's a constraint that in-powers those who both submit and are in authority.
[Heb 13:17 KJV Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.]
Rom 1:20 example, a team that has a leader (captain) and all submitted under that leader, makes a powerful team. An army has ranks. Work places have management. Even in music you see that you have singers, musicians, backup singers or choirs and a director, or ranks. Someone makes the decisions and those under them submit to it. On and on you see that submission is powerful.
[Jhn 14:15 KJV If ye love me, keep my commandments.]
[1Jo 2:3-4 KJV And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.]
When you find out the truth about Jesus and His kingdom, the "rules" have to follow. A land without authority is chaos. God is not the author of confusion. He makes His commandments very clear and easy to find, when you seek Him for them. His word tells us that love is going to a cross. Love is setting up boundaries, love is discipline, love never fails, and many more things. When you love a child you don’t let them throw a temper tantrum and give them what they wanted. You correct that behavior so they become a better person, more equipped to handle things in life. Same thing God does, He uses preachers to tell us our sin, what the rules or commandments are and makes us accountable to them; because He loves us. Understanding comes when you obey them. Understanding can also come from either watching those that don’t, or disobeying them yourself. But the fact remains that God created the world and obeying His commandments cause blessings, while disobeying causes curses. Gravity is one of those laws. Just like give and it shall be given. You use gravity every day, now try the law of giving.
It is a great thing to be a Prisoner of Hope. Bound in Christ means liberty from sin. As you mature in Christ you see that the “rules” protected you when you didn’t know you needed it. The preacher telling you to get the makeup off, is protection? Yes, because it’s not only unhealthy for you physically but the spirit that comes with it is dangerous to your soul. Besides, who told you makeup was good? It wasn’t God. One of the other things that happens when you become a prisoner is that you find out that the constraints in God loose you from the bondages of this world. The things that are asked to be given up, like makeup, become junk or as Paul put it “dung” that he was glad to get rid of. Freedom from the noise of this world, pressures to become like everyone else’s “be your own self”. Living for God is truly the best place to live. Surrounded by His love and walking free in this world now and eternal life to come. Yes I have hard times, usually when I’m looking at this kingdom and not His. Thankful when I get my eyes on Him and I’m thankful to not only be a fellow prisoner of Christ, but a child of the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Submitted by :Tina Marie