Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5;1
Ever wonder what it is like to be incarcerated? Ever wonder why after being imprisoned for so long that people go back to prison. Studies have shown that approximately sixty-eight percent of persons are re-arrested within three years, and seventy-five percent are re-arrested within five years. Nearly fifty-five percent will be re-imprisoned within three to five years. This is extremely mind-boggling. It is easy for me to ponder on the idea of being imprisoned is as bad as I have heard and seen on television. Why do they come out of prison and get into the same things that have caused them to be locked up or things that are forbidden? I’m sure it is probably not their intent to get into trouble. I can imagine them anticipating the release and making all sorts of plans.
I have heard that the closer prisoners get to being released, the harder it gets for them. I have heard that other inmates have tried and have successfully sabotaged their chances of getting released. Well, I guess they know that there’s no chance of them getting released, so they try to hold them. I will assume this is what we call a prison mentality.
If we call sabotaging a prison mentality, could we then say the prison mentality functions outside of the prison or could we say there are prisoners outside of prisons? Could we go further and say it is a mind-set? So, what are you proposing Lennie that our minds can hold us captive? Ok, so does it mean that we have to do as Paul instructed, “Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus?”
But how does this happen? If we are to take on the mind of Christ, it is done by the word. It’s tearing down of what is not truth and replacing it with truth. Roman 12:2 warns, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I often wonder what is done to prepare prisoners to be reintroduced to society. How are they to function in a place where many have been away from for several years? How are they now supposed to come out in what is supposed to be civilization and away from where many probably had to fight to stay alive? While society changes with each day without them even knowing, this poses as a barrier for newly released prisoners. The shackles are now being loose, and they are now free to pass through many doors that have been barred. Unfortunately, no one has told them what has changed. Now they are left to figure it all out by themselves. It’s like they are being told, “Here’s your destination find your way.” They have accepted the keys but cannot drive. What’s held them captive have now released them, but what now? How do they get acclimated to a place of new societal norms? How do they remain free?
So, if Paul warned of being enslaved again, I guess that means there is a chance we can be put back in bondage because He said, “Don’t let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” I propose it is a choice, but we must be careful to not let it happen. How do we do this?
A good way is by following 2 Corinthians 11:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Anything that is contrary to what we know to be true, we must tear it down by the word.
We have to be mindful of people that we walk with each day. There are many that appears to be free, but their minds are still imprisoned. We can be walking with people and they are moving as we are moving but the difference is we are not in sync. I have learned that people are cool with us when we are locked up together, but when we become free they don’t like the new you. So, what are they actually saying? They liked you when you didn’t know who you were, when you were tied up. So, what does that say about them?
Prisoners are put away for their protection. When they repeatedly break the law it makes you wonder if they like being locked away. Could it be that that’s their way of protecting themselves from themselves? Could we also say that some of us hold ourselves in bondage as a way of protecting ourselves from ourselves? Like prisoners, they know what is required of them to remain free. Some of us know the truth of the word but we chose to live by what we have been taught by our older generation. For instance, no make-up, jewelry, braids or pants.
You have to know that you are free because if you don’t know, you will become susceptible to the master of this world. I believe James calls it being double-minded. When we are not aware of our liberty through Christ, we will be walking in uncertainty just as an old slave has once said, “Now is I free, or been I not? When I go to my old master he says I ain’t free, and when I go to my own people they say I is, and I don’t know whether I’m free or not. Some people told me that Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation, but master says he didn’t; he didn’t have any right to.”
Let me testify!!
I grew up thinking that wearing make-up, jewelry, or pants was not christian-like. Why because my mother didn’t do it or people who I looked at as being saved, sanctified and holy ghost filled. I wore earrings but it had to be small (you know a lil undercover action,lol). I wore a little make-up on special occasion. I did wear pants, however, I wouldn’t dare wear one in the house of God because that would be pure disrespect to His house. I was taught modest and simple was the way. I wouldn’t dare wear a long hair extensions because then I would look like a Jezebel and we know the old folk would call you a Jezebel in a heart beat. I believed it so much so until when I looked at others that claimed to be saved that wore make-up, lots of jewelry, weaves and pants as if they had backslide. You know whispering and saying, “girl look at her she done backslide. I know she wasn’t going to last long.” I was the most self-righteous person. I felt as if I had it all together, why because I looked the part but I was messed up in my thinking. When God spoke and said I had to be taught, I didn’t understand but thank God for HIS SUFFICIENT GRACE. During this time I had seen myself in a vision sitting and being taught by a female that I had never seen before. I didn’t know how it was going to happen or how I would meet her but God carefully orchestrated it all. She was quite the opposite of what I envisioned. The first time I heard her voice it was an immediate connection in my spirit. It felt like a Mary and Elizabeth encounter. I had never heard the word divided like I had that night. She was beautifully adorned with make-up, jewelry, hair extensions and heels. Mind you ordinarily her appearance would have been the first thing I noticed but on the contrary that night I heard past all of that and I only heard the anointing of God on her life. I sat at her feet for over three years and witnessed her under the anointing of God. Immediately I knew this was the woman God had shown me in the vision. When she laid hands on me along with her make-up, jewelry, hair extensions and high heels and I fell as if I was paralyzed. I witnessed her laying hands people and they were delivered. I witnessed God using her through prophecies and people coming back testifying of the confirmation. I walked behind her as her armour-bearer for years witnessing the anointing of God as she laid hands and people were dropping like flies while I could hardly hold up being that close as God used her mightily. She wore her jeans or slacks to bible study and guess what, it didn’t take anything away from her dividing the word.
The word comes to set us free. I bless The Lord for the chains being lose. I bless Him for The Word that has transformed my mind. I know who I am in Him. I have come to realize that I had become so hung up on the appearance and looking the part until I was no good to the body. I saw the word in action. The word brought me out of darkness.
Since my mind had been transformed I have experienced the looks and stares of people. I have heard the whispering, “how could she call herself a preacher look at her? She never use to look like that before. Who do she think she is? She thinks because she knows two scripture she know it all.” I realized it started with knowing who I am in Christ and that happens by growing in the word. The word comes to bring life and that empowers us to stand. Had I not know who I am in Him, I would probably conform to the laws of this world. The laws meaning man ways of doing things, doing things as we traditionally did in the past. He warns us about conforming to the things of this world. I can be in the world but not of the world. I can be in a place but not of a place. I have been called to be light so therefore, I can be in a dark place but my light has to remain shining. I can’t dim my light to conform to my surroundings. I have witnessed my growth one evening while sitting out on the patio of a restaurant. Just about everyone around me where having drinks, laughing and dancing. The old me would have immediately gotten up with my “self-righteous” self and left but I sat there and enjoyed the laughs and music. I had the opportunity to meet a couple of college students and we shared our college experiences. I encouraged them to stay in school and I shared my testimony of how God had blessed me to go back to school at that age and finished.
Yes I have can attest to Paul’s warning of being cautious of having a harness of slavery put on us even after being set free. I wear make-up, jewelery, hair extensions and I wear it with confidence in knowing that the holy spirit takes precedence over all of that. At anytime my praise could have my make-up, heels, jewelry and yes and even my hair extensions (so long as it doesn’t come off, a bit of humor.) I have to be mindful of even being robbed of knowledge. The transition from being cultured and having to go out into the wild can be challenging, but we must stand firm in our liberty. In order to take a firm stand I must do as Paul instructs, “I have to tear down every vain imaginations and every thing that opposes the knowledge of God and bring it captive to the obedience of God.” Whatever is presented that is not truth, I don’t accept it and I speak a word of truth on it.
Open for discussion: Why do you think people hold on to the old teachings as it relates to how “christian” women should dress? Could it be that they don’t trust themselves in their liberty? Maybe they are afraid of how they would look in a pair of jeans, slacks, make-up, jewelry etcetera, and the attention it will bring from the opposite sex? What about the fact that they are unsure of how they would respond to the attention?
Share your thoughts! Don’t be shy!