Daily Devotional – 9/20/17 “You are free!”

When a man or woman has served time in a prison, for however long, there is a process they will go through upon their release. For some, it is easy but for others it can be traumatic. It’s almost like Stockholm syndrome, the difference, a prisoner begins to feel for their captor and in this case it’s prison. As a prisoner you are on a schedule, someone is preparing your food, you cannot go and come as you wish, there is a certain time to use the phone, scheduled times to see your loved ones, your money is managed, your mail is watched and you have no freedom. Depending on your sentence, you may find yourself spending year after year in this prison, getting accustomed to the yelling and the screaming of other inmates, the violence and being told what to do and how to do it. You get used to the food. You get used to the small cells. You get used to the little, if any, outdoor air you breathe. You get adapted to your prisoner. Now, release day comes and you find yourself walking out the doors into a world that is unfamiliar and it can scare you. Why am I sharing this? Especially since I have never been to prison or jail. Well, this morning, beloved, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I just want to help somebody today.

No, you may not have been released from the prison system but you have been in prison. Whether it was abuse, a dwindling marriage, an addiction, a job, a relationship, a place of worship or a sickness. And now you have been released and don’t know what to do with yourself. The doors have been opened and the shackles released but you still walk around like you’re bound. You’ve been healed and you still get up in the morning following the same routine you did when you were sick. Your abuser is gone yet you still walk around on egg shells. You left that place of worship yet you still don’t trust the one you’ve joined. Your marriage ended yet you still find yourself holding on to the hostility. The addiction, you still act like that alcoholic/drug addict. Baby, you’re free. Go to sleep in your bed, nobody will hurt you. Laugh, you won’t get hit this time. You can enjoy worship, nobody is talking about you. You can have that drink, you are healed. You can go on that vacation, your probation is over. Ma’am, sir; you are free now. – Happy Release Day!

Advertisements

Daily Devotional – 9/15/17 “Collateral damage!”

Have you ever found yourself being hurt because the person you were with was hurt by somebody else? Have you ever found yourself victim by way of some stuff because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong folk? Ever found yourself facing hell and all you did was came when somebody called? In other words, you’ve been collateral damage. All you have to do is take a moment and you’ll say, “Yes, I’ve been there,” because the truth of the matter is; we all have been. All you did was accept an invitation to dinner and now you got his crazy baby momma calling your phone, stalking your Facebook page and liking on your pictures on Instagram. Your friend called you and you went, only to end up with a black eye because she didn’t tell you her boyfriend was acting a fool. You were invited to speak on the church’s Harvest Program and now rumors are spreading about you and the pastor. You are collateral damage. In Genesis 20:3, Abimelech finds himself being called a dead man and all he did was took a woman he thought was single. But because Abraham lied, Abimelech found himself as collateral damage.

How many of you have that testimony? Being labeled a home-wrecker and you didn’t even know the liar was married. Being labeled as lowdown and all you were was the messenger. Being called out because of your last name and DNA. Being abused because you happen to be the one there at the time. Being hurt because it just happened to be you, close enough, when the fire started. Collateral damage. What do you do? You keep your integrity and your heart clear and give folk back their stuff. God told Abimelech in Genesis 20:6-7, “Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning against me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. Now then, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”” Stop being a third wheel, get out of that relationship. Stop being easy accessible, tell folk no. Stop allowing yourself to be in a position to be hurt, choose you for once. You may have been collateral damage before but seek God and pray that you will never be it again.