Therefor I, the prisoner of the Lord… Ephesians 4:1 NASB
The apostle Paul was an amazing fellow. Having bowed his knee to the one true King who reigns over all (Psalm 103:19), he viewed everything in his life as being orchestrated by the Lord. Therefore, instead of fretting and stewing over the fact that he was incarcerated and unable to roam about freely, he simply considered himself to be the Lord’s prisoner and resigned himself to His will. We need to examine this attitude closely because we will see something that is crucial to living in the Reign of God.
Let’s Think About Prisoners
Have you ever thought about what it is like to be a prisoner? Here are a few things to consider:
- Prisoners live in very restricted conditions.
- They have virtually no will of their own.
- They are told when to eat, sleep, get up, work, exercise, etc..
- The majority of their interaction is with others in prison.
- Only those who are in prison, or who have been in prison, really understand them.
- They bear the stigma of being, or of having been, a prisoner for the rest of their lives.
Living Under God’s Government
This is not a lot unlike the live of us who live under the government of God. Think about it.
We live within the parameters defined by the King.
We serve at His pleasure whenever, wherever.
Every aspect of our lives is lived in reference to Him.
Those who are also living in the Reign understand us fully.
Those who are not living in the Reign do not understand us at all.
We bear the “stigma” of belonging to the King to the delight of some and the scorn of others.
Here is the Difference
There is a distinct difference, however, between those in prison and those of us who live as captives to the Lord. Prisoners are not in confinement by their own choosing. They have been sentenced to incarceration by someone else, thereby having their freedoms completely stripped from them. Those of us living as prisoners of the Lord are doing so by our own choice. We have freely given up deciding what our lives should be in order to find our lives in Him. Living in complete submission to the King results in the discovery of our true identity. We are then free to live out that identity in its fullness, all the while living under the King’s constant care.
Why This is Important?
“When you and I live upon a basis of Divine life, and seek to exercise faith for that life to be made good in us for spirit, soul and body, we have to be utterly the prisoners of the Lord, we cannot do as we like. If you and I begin to exercise and interest ourselves in things outside of God’s permission, the life cannot work, and will not work, and it will be death.”
There you have it. Living in utter captivity to the Lord is what will release us to experience the fullness of Kingdom life. Anything short of this will result in frustration and futility. Living as the Lord’s prisoner is the key ingredient to living in the Reign.