God has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free. Luke 4:18

Each week I have the privilege of ministering to women in a local jail. These precious women have had difficult lives and made destructive decisions which ultimately lead to imprisonment. My heart breaks for them as they share their life experiences.

As I pray for them, I ponder if I’m really any different? Although I’ve not been physically incarcerated, some decisions I’ve made in my own life have created situations of emotional and spiritual self-imprisonment such as self-reliance versus God-reliance and choosing to remain in unhealthy relationships. The choices we make and the failure to seek God’s best in our lives create not only detours but self-constructed prisons.

So, how do we put ourselves in a self-made prison? Unforgiveness, fear, anxiety, cynicism, any kind of addiction – negative thoughts lead to negative actions. Self-imprisonment always begins in our hearts and our minds.

The good news is that Jesus not only came to save our souls but to heal our brokenness. He can set captives free regardless of the type of prison we build for ourselves. Now that is good news!

Only Jesus can give each of us beauty for ashes and restore to us what has been stolen. Jesus doesn’t pull us out of our self-imprisonment purely for the sake of our personal freedom. He moves us forward into a place of beautiful freedom that is His alone to give so that we can live through Him and in Him to experience everything He has available for us. Ultimately, we pay forward to others who have not yet experienced His redemptive love and power.

What self-made prison do you need to surrender to Jesus today? Join me in experiencing the redemption and restoration that only He can give.