He cowered in the corner, covering his head and not looking at anyone. He tried to make himself as small and unnoticeable as possible, crouching in the shadows. As I peeked through the prison bars, I felt compassion for this man. The cell door swung wide open, but the man didn't move. He didn't realize he was free.
This is the image that came to mind as I prayed for a man who had struggled with depression for years. The enemy of his soul tormented him, convincing him that he would always be a prisoner to the stronghold of depression and fear. Yet, Jesus already purchased his freedom. The saving power of Christ freed him, unlocking the prison door, providing a way of escape. However, the man remained paralyzed. He didn't fully understand he was already free.
How many of us struggle like this man? Do we believe we will always fight a health diagnosis, depression, fear, anxiety, financial pressures, or fragmented relationships? Or do we recognize the freeing power Jesus gives us to overcome these strongholds? What does it take to move from depression to joy, fear to peace, anxiety to confidence, financial pressures to prosperity, or fragmented relationships to wholesome ones?
The answer? The Word of God and its transformative work in our lives. Romans 12:2 tells us, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." We stop listening to the world's answer and seek God's answers which renew our minds to His ways. Spending time studying God's Word, clinging to His promises, and rebuking the enemy's lies with Scripture opens the prison doors, crushes binding chains, and pulls down every stronghold.
Paul tells us of the spiritual war we wage in Second Corinthians 10. In verses 4-5 we read, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." Part of renewing our minds is taking every thought captive and bringing it into alignment with God's wisdom.
The next time the enemy whispers those familiar lies, be prepared with God's Word. Speak Scripture promises that refute those lies and send the enemy of your soul packing. God has given you what you need to be freed from the prison you may find yourself in. The door is open. Walk through it.