Thursday, August 13, 2009

Escaping Prison

One of the more vivid prayer-visions I have experienced, and one with a comforting message, came during prayers when we were still fairly new to our homechurch. And when I was still getting used to the whole idea that God would put pictures in my head to coincide with something He was teaching me.

The picture was like a 3-D snapshot: rough-hewn stone walls formed a box, much taller than a man and wholly insurmountable. Down the middle of the box was a man-made block-and-mortar wall, just slightly taller than, but easily climbable by a man. The stone walls formed a prison around the sole figure kneeling on the grassy floor of the box. The block wall cast shade on the figure.

The one and only feature in the picture that managed to transcend the walls was a stream of cool, clear water. It entered at one end, flowing under the stone wall, under the block-and- mortar wall and then under the other stone wall. I could see the stream outside the stone walls as well, flowing to infinity in both directions.

The kneeling figure was scooping water from the stream to his mouth.

The interpretation for this came after several hours of thinking and praying on it. What I got was that the stone walls were a prison, the prison of the “flesh world”. The walls were impossible to climb; there was no escape. The only hope for escape appeared to be the man-made wall, easy to scale for the average man. The block wall represented religion—man-made and offering the promise of escape, but falling for short of its promise. It was dead center in the prison, too far from the perimeter walls to facilitate climbing or even jumping to the top of the stone walls. There was no escape, no hope. Except…

The stream of water. Jesus’. His love streamed through the prison, offering refreshment, hope, and salvation for the prisoners. Only Jesus has the power to enter and leave the prison at will; stone walls mean nothing to Him. He even transcends the manmade wall of religion, flowing right through it, unchanged, determined, inexorable.

That is what Jesus is in my life: cool, clear, refreshing hope and freedom. Freedom from concerns about this world. Escape from the prison of this flesh world.

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