I attended Bible College at Bob Jones University from 2006-2010 and met some great guys with whom I have made lifelong friendships. I really enjoyed hearing the various testimonies of how God saved men and set them apart for His mission. Some guys shared stories of how God saved them while they were in jail. Others grew up in Christian homes and gave testimonies of how they realized that the faith of their parents was not enough to save them and when God opened their eyes to their need of a personal Savior.
My story is similar to the latter. I grew up in a Christian home raised by Godly parents. The danger of my situtation was that I was in a prison of sin in a Christian home without even realizing it until one day I came under great conviction of sin. When I was 15 years old, the Holy Spirit showed me that I was in the darkness and shadow of death because we are not guaranteed our next breath. I understood that I was in the chains of sin and if I died I would be eternally separated from God in Hell. I didn’t want to go to hell, but I also wanted my sin. I wasn’t in a physical prison as Psalm 107:10-12 describes but I was under such great conviction that I “loathed any kind of food, and . . . drew near to the gates of death.” (Psalm 107:18) The things that I once enjoyed such as food and skateboarding were no longer enjoyable to me. I tried to distract myself from the conviction, but God would not let me go.
I am thankful to God for showing me that I was in the prison of sin in the darkness and shadow of death. I am thankful that He burst my bonds apart. I want to “. . . thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!” I want to “offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His deeds in songs of joy!” (Psalm 107:21).
Are you in a prison (physically or spiritually)? Is your heart bowed down with hard labor? Are you depressed, loathing any kind of food and drawing near to the gates of death possibly through suicidal thoughts or addictions? Cry to the LORD in your trouble and he will deliver from your distress (Psalm 107: 13).