Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard…(Acts 23:35)
Because of some men who wanted to kill him, the best place for Paul to be while he was in Caesarea was to be kept in prison.
Friend, I know you’re going through a season that feels like prison, but it very well may be the best place for you and your spiritual growth. There might be things or opportunities outside of where you are right now that would crush you. It’s quite possible that God is keeping you at bay, not granting you the opportunity to serve Him or the ministry you’ve been praying about for years because your character isn’t where it needs to be. If you left prison, you’d be crushed, because your character has not gone through the furnace of affliction. You’ve not reached the point of humility that leads you to true service to God.
After all, it’s God we serve, not our callings. It’s people we love, not the ministries we want to build that matter most to Him. One thing I have been praying for myself is, “Lord, keep me here as long as it takes to grow my character. As much as I hate it, Lord, changed me. I submit myself to the process. Show me my sin within this so that I might repent and be changed.”
Maybe, this thing isn’t taking off for you just yet because God wants to grow you first. It’s quite possible that God is keeping where you’re at to love those around you. Friend, there are so many church leaders who love the ministries they lead more than the people in them. So before you go running off trying to find success somewhere else, plant yourself where God has you and love those around you deeply. Then, when you’re ready He’ll lead you out of what feels like prison, to a bigger shepherds field o love more people for the Kingdom.
Lord, I love you. I want to love others. Sometimes it feels like you put me in prison. Forgive me for getting angry and upset with you about that. I trust you, because you are good, in Jesus name, Amen.