At least once a month I go out to the Benton Work Release Center to minister to the men incarcerated there. This is the final stop for some before they are released to hopefully become productive members of society and not end up back in prison. My role as a volunteer worker is to give them something they can hold on to and build on in their lives to help empower them to stand strong and not give in to their previous lifestyles that break the law and do harm to themselves and others.
They are in prison, but for most of us, we have to deal with personal prisons that hold us captive. God healed me of a chronic back condition last year. It was wonderful. My life was in daily debilitating pain, and after two weeks of speaking and standing on the word of God for healing, the next day I was not in pain. Twice, immediately after that, I had that very pain return, which I stood against speaking the word of God. It left me and for many months I had no pain and did heavy work. Recently, in the space of a week, I overworked, and I put the icing on the cake by loading a big trailer with junk that had accumulated around the house, In that, I did something to my back. It is a completely different set of symptoms from the chronic back condition I had before.
My lesson: You can abuse and injure a healed back! Duh! If you break the law of sound judgment, reason and moderation, you will imprison yourself in a hurting body that takes a while to heal. We humans do stupid stuff all the time that break laws, so we carry our prisons around with us. Sometimes we incur our prisons as we serve in the line of duty and gainful occupation. Sometimes our prisons are imposed on us by others wrong choices and lifestyles. Life happens. Regardless of how we got our prisons, the good news is that the Bible says Jesus, the Word, is anointed, is endowed with the Spirit, “to preach deliverance to the captives” and “set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18). It says that Jesus, “with…word…healed all that were sick” thus fulfilling what Isaiah the prophet said, “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:16, 17). Through repentance for our stupidity, or by submission to God for our uninvited condition that life gave us, we can give ourselves to God. Then, we take his anointed Word and apply it to our lives and we do all we can in the natural. Continuing this, we can expect healing and release from our prisons to again become a productive member in society. Jesus came to do this for us, to his glory. It is God’s work release program.