“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” ~ Luke 4:18
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” ~ Hebrews 13:3
A few years ago, I got involved with a prison ministry in a local jail. This was NOT what I would have picked for myself.
As part of a Christ-based recovery program, we were introducing ourselves to local organizations that might benefit from what we offer. At the local jail, we wanted to serve those inmates being released who needed a program focused on recovering from addictive behaviors that were stealing their peace. We were introduced to a prison chaplain who said “We try to give direction to those who are leaving here, but our greatest need is to minister to those inside. We have been waiting for someone from a Christian recovery program that would commit to meeting with our inmates.” This was one of those moments that most of you can relate to when you realize that God is not “opening a window”, but busting down the barn door.
Obedience is an important first step when God is talking – right?
I still remember the feelings of fear and anxiety that came over me as I was led into the jail with large metal secure doors CLANGING behind me. I really didn’t want to do this. I arrived in a large dorm room full of male convicts in jumpsuits and sporting all manner of tattoos in places I would never consider, to a standing ovation. I almost cried! These guys didn’t know me, but in anticipation of someone caring enough to come into their place of hopelessness, bringing a message of hope, they were brought to their feet with joy. These guys were hungry for hope. They were thirsting for the “living water” that is only available through Jesus! I was privileged to do this for several years.
Daily Battle Order:
It is the humble, the broken, the unclean, the marginalized, who were Jesus’s disciples. Men, be alert to those around you, who don’t fit in, who have been isolated from the rest of us for some reason, then like Jesus does, He saw them, He listened to them, He responded with love and kindness, then He challenged them to follow Him. This is Disciple-making defined by the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.