Guest post by Lisa Buffaloe
The Old Idaho State Penitentiary first opened its doors in 1870 and continued to operate until 1973. During the years of operation housed 13,000 convicts, one of which was Harry Orchard.
Orchard began his sentence in 1908 after being convicted of the assassination of a former governor of Idaho. Years later, due to good behavior, Orchard was offered parole. He chose to stay and eventually died on April 13, 1954. Our tour guide surmised perhaps the man had enemies on the outside he didn’t want to face, or after serving so long in prison, he couldn’t imagine leaving.
After parole was offered, Harry chose to return to his dingy cell, never again to experience freedom.
He had a choice.
We also have a choice.
Many people are locked in their past. Their innocence was taken from them, or through their own bad choices innocence was lost. Unable to move forward, they remain trapped in the prison of their mind.
Memories pounce and mangle leaving us shaking, quaking, unable to process what happened, much less deal with today.
How can we regain what was lost? How can we go free when our enemies continue to roam, or our own failures condemn us?
The enemy pushes us inside the prison but can’t lock us in. Jesus stands at the door to our freedom. “The Lord has put his Spirit in me, He has sent me to tell the captives they are free and to tell the blind that they can see again. God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly” (Luke 4:18 NCV).
And if we choose freedom, we go through Christ to be washed clean. Innocence is regained, and what was once lost is restored.
Please visualize the process. The God who created the universe offers total and complete restoration. You chose Christ. Every bad thought, every evil action and every evil touch, taken away. Every bit of sin is forgiven and removed. Every spot now pure. You are wholly recreated in Christ. When God looks at you, He sees His perfect Son.
Your prison cell is open and you are free.
Again, Jesus stands at the door, this time to block the path back to the past.
Those bad memories? You don’t have to go back… Jesus stands at the door.
Those failures? They’re gone… Jesus stands at the door.
Your sins? They’re clean… Jesus stands at the door.
Don’t listen to Satan’s lies that you can never be free, or your innocence never regained. Don’t believe the enemy who was behind all the evil in the first place. The cell door is open and Jesus stands at the door.
You are completely, totally, washed clean, innocence restored, recreated and free in Christ.
“God gives the lonely a home. He leads prisoners out with joy, but those who turn against God will live in a dry land” (Psalm 68:6 NCV).
“God is to us a God of deliverances and salvation; and to God the Lord belongs escape from death [setting us free]” (Psalm 68:20 AMP).
“He does what is fair for those who have been wronged. He gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free” (Psalm 146:7 NCV).
“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you” (Galatians 5:1 MSG).
“..Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV).
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:11 NIV).
“God, you did everything you promised, and I’m thanking you with all my heart. You pulled me from the brink of death, my feet from the cliff-edge of doom. Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life” (Psalm 56:12-13 MSG).
Lisa Buffaloe is Radio host on Living Joyfully Free, an avid blogger, writer, and speaker. Her past experiences—molestation by a baby-sitter, assault, rape by a doctor, divorce, being stalked, cancer, death of loved ones, seven surgeries, and eleven years of chronic illness from Lyme Disease—bless her with a backdrop to share with others God’s amazing promises of healing, restoration, and renewal. www.lisabuffaloe.com www.livingjoyfullyfree.com