God Sets the Prisoners Free
“The mind is a powerful thing, it is a wonderful tool but it can be a dangerous snare.”
The wrong kind of thinking can deeply disturb our peace, creating a kind of mental prison. Too many of us focus on fearful thinking and spend time worrying. Negative thoughts spiral in our minds, causing us unnecessary anxiety. This anxiety can impact our entire soul: spirits, minds, bodies and our relationships. God offers us freedom from the prisons of our minds as we look to Him to set us free.
Psalm 146:5, 7–8 says:
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose Hope is in the Lord their God. The Lord sets the prisoners free. The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down.
God works to set physical prisoners free, but God cares just as much about setting us free from everything that causes us to be bowed over in pain, even emotional pain. Not only does He give sight to those who are physically blind, but He gives new sight to those who are blinded by fear, anxiety and negative thinking, which as we know, is endemic in our culture. Psychology today states that 75% of the thoughts in people’s minds are negative.
The prophet Isaiah taught us, “God keeps in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on him (paraphrase mine).” As we learn to look to God for our help in all of life’s challenging moments, He will give us His eyes to see the truth of any given situation and will show us what we need to do to trust Him. We learn to wait on Him to direct us and obey whatever course of action He might lead us to take.
In the case of emotional and psychological health, God might lead us to medical help or psychological help. He might send us course work to help us understand our first emotional formations and show us new ways to transform into His image. But He will always enter into the situation with us and guide us through to a new level of understanding, freedom and peace.
In order to experience this transformation, we must first want to be made well, much like the man by the pool in Bethsaida, whom Jesus asked, “Do you want to be healed?” Secondly, we must learn to trust Him as we did when we gave Him our very lives, convinced that Jesus entered humanity, became like one of us, paid for our own sin with His very blood and forgave us all our iniquity. The fact that he was one of us can help us to trust that He knows the way out and will provide us with the tools and the guidance to be transformed.
As we look to God for freedom, He might lead us to repent, forgive, or break ungodly attachments in our lives. He might cause us to stand up against demonic oppression by proclaiming who we are in God’s family and extending our God given authority over the forces of darkness in our lives. He might simply love us through His presence, those in our church community, and the gifts he pours out through us to one another.
No matter how God leads us, He is trustworthy and following Him will lead us to places of increasing health and freedom. And as we are transformed, God invites us to bring others to Him, who can also find His health and freedom.