Why don’t they get it?
What’s it going to take?
Are they ever going to learn?
All of these questions may go through your mind as you see the men and women in the jail over and over again. In the last several years since Tracey and I have been going to the jail we have seen a bunch of them come and go only to return.
While there are numerous charges and reasons why each of them are in jail it really isn’t any different than why so many are still locked up in sin. Each of us has lived a life filled with trying and failing but maybe we just didn’t get caught. I know I lived trying to run my own life for many, many years before I became sick and tired enough to really hand it over the Christ.
Even though I wouldn’t want anyone to have to be in jail there is a good side to it. Because I get to go there and tell them Jesus Christ is the solution. If they weren’t in jail I may not have an opportunity to share my testimony and the Word of God with them. I know God does speak through others but tonight it was my privilege.
Sometimes when it’s time to go to the jail I am fired up ready to go. I’ve got scripture, testimony, examples and illustrations lined up and other times I don’t. Tonight was the latter. I didn’t really have any one thing or verse I felt led to share, but I know God knows what he’s doing so I went simply, trusting him.
Walking into the vending room the guys were already there and seated. It seemed to be unusually quiet for some reason but that’s good. I passed the sign up sheet around and started with a word of prayer. I prayed “God I have nothing, but I know you’ve got this. I thank you for each of these guys and the opportunity to share your word with them tonight. I just ask that you would speak to them in the way only you can, in Jesus’ name amen.”
After sharing a little bit of my testimony I read Hebrews 4:12 to them about how the word of God divides the soul and spirit. I never seem to get tired of sharing with others about how we are a spirit with a soul that lives in a body. I think this is so vital to understand. If we don’t get to a place where we can distinguish between our souls and spirits we will forever be led around by our thoughts and emotions. We must learn to walk after the spirit and not the flesh.
I know when I lived in the soul/body realm I constantly looked for something to make me feel the way I wanted to. There are a number of things that give us that charge to the flesh we’re looking for. It can be sex, drugs, money, gambling, risk taking, like skydiving or driving fast, it can be just about anything. Why do you think people love scary movies or roller-coasters? We’re all looking for that one thing that gets our heart pumping and the adrenaline racing, something to make us feel alive!
We read a little in Galatians 5 about the flesh and spirit and in 2 Corinthians 12 where Paul shares his revelation about weakness. The Apostle Paul had what he called a thorn in his flesh and he couldn’t shake it. He prayed three times for God to remove it, but God told him “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” God’s grace enabled Paul to walk in the Spirit despite his troubles in his flesh.
I finished talking with the guys tonight telling them most of our problems stem from thinking we are strong enough and smart enough. We think we’re able to handle our lives and run them how we want to. God is saying to us “Let me carry your burden. Let me run things. I am the only one who can.” Once we see that our own weakness in the flesh is the key to having God’s power in the Spirit we will agree with Paul when he said, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” The spirit is indeed willing but the flesh is weak.
Written by Louie