Thursday, November 6, 2008

Free On The Inside

Yesterday I dared to mention sin being every Christian's main obstacle to peace of mind and true rest of God. Thank you Kelly of for your profound comment.

I have my list of sins before me as I write this blog. Trust me, it's not short. I remember the first time I wrote down everything in me that I could see that was "off the mark" of Christ-likeness. I threw my hands up in despair, but I found the author/missionary, Bertha Smith, compelling to dare to believe God could free me from the inside out. Amazing grace: God worked on me from the inside out on a few on that list quickly. I knew it was God working in me (I'd tried for years "to fix myself with willpower" to never licking these issues).

Today I look at this new list and I can see patterns of a lack of discipline in my life. I'm praying and I'm seeing some new ways to structure my life to address these issues. Now I come to this list with a sense of adventure. In God's grace and my submission these sins will no longer be a bondage thwarting my thriving life. Chains are broken. I am free!!!

Dr. Phil would probably word this sin list as an acknowlegement list since his famous quote is, "What you don't acknowlege, you can never overcome." So, if calling your missed marks sin makes you uneasy (although the Bible is full of the truth that Christians must humble themselves and repent from sin throughout their lives), call them "mistakes," or whatever word gives you courage enough to face the truth so that God can move into freeing you from all bondages, habits and hindrances to His presence. Freedom is beautiful; don't live life without it!

A couple of months ago I accompanied my church's prison ministry on a writing assignment. We led a two-day revival in a 700 person maximum women's prison. This poem came to me in prayer the morning after we returned home. Today I feel this poem's truth as I look over my sin list. Jesus Christ is setting me free from all bondage in His amazing grace.

Freed On The Inside

Church on the inside
Doors slam shut, you're locked inside
Praise & Preaching coming to the inside,
But freedom came to me on the Inside.

Inmates dressed in beige with a number
Fill the room slowly with gloom.
Shamed and stripped of hope
They show up 'cause they've heard there's a sound.

Our team's been here before
They've heard we're more than preachin'
Others say we bring a "sound'
The band plays, the singers praise
The dancers leap with joy
All with a sound.

Then the former inmate preacher
Brings Jesus' Word
The inmates come forward and kneel.
Then I hear a sound.

Hundreds of inmates sing a song:
Holy Holy Holy
Their voices bring a sound,
Heaven flows a sound.
A mighty sound comes forth
And I'm free on the inside.

Holy Holy Holy
A sound like a mighty wind.
Chains of shame broken,
Bars and Walls come down.
In God's Presence
All are free on the Inside.
On the inside....I got free
On the inside of prison
I got free.

Inmates entered in gloom,
They leave dancing from the room.
They throw kisses,
Their eyes dance with joy.
They are free on the inside.
On the joy of being on the inside,
On getting free on the inside,
On seeing inmates
Free On The Inside.

Written by Kay Andrews Martin

copyright 2008

Please do not publish without permission


Dorothy Champagne said...

This is exactly what I mentioned today in my blog - we're on the same wave-length miles away! :) I love your idea of making a list - sometimes we don't even realize what's tearing us down!

Rachel Olsen said...

I love this, Kay!

Been writing a chapter the last couple weeks on the importance of confession, so I'm on this wavelength with you as well.

Plus, the poem was powerful. :)

Chatty Kelly said...

Great poem. I love how those captive are also free (on the inside). And we are all captive to sin, trying to become free.

Thanks for the mention!

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.