"When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" Matthew 25:39-40
These verses rang in my head. "When did you visit Me in prison?". God then whispered, "you don't have to go to a prison to visit those in prison".
God is calling us to VISIT THOSE IN PRISON. Those in strongholds, those who are locked in addictions or bad habits, those under oppression, those who are lost, those who are detained by bitterness or unforgiveness. We are being sent with words of life!
VISITATION is happening in areas in which we have been held prisoner. The verse literally asks "when did we see you in prison?". God is being SEEN IN PRISON. These areas that have felt like they have held us or our loved ones back are becoming incubators for turn around.
Joseph was placed in prison before being elevated to the palace. "So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained. But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden." Genesis 39:20-21
Samson was a prisoner before taking down his enemies. "Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison." Judges 16:21
Jesus was even a prisoner before the resurrection and defeat of the enemy "Now at the feast he used to release for them any one PRISONER whom they requested. The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection." Mark 15:6-7
The list goes on. Jeremiah, John the Baptist, the apostles, Peter, Paul, and more.
Whether you are currently struggling with a stronghold or you are being sent to visit someone who is, expect God to show up in mighty ways that begin complete TURN AROUNDS.
God reminded me of a vision I had a few months ago of someone looking out through the bars of a prison cell. The person thought he or she was on the inside of the cell, but really the person was OUTSIDE THE BARS LOOKING IN. God said to this person, "TURN AROUND and see that you are already free!!"
Also in this time God is encouraging us to step into a new kind of prison.
"Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you." Zechariah 9:12
What does it mean to lock ourselves into God's stronghold of protection and to be a prisoner of hope? Prison is something from which there is NO ESCAPE. What if we had no escape from our hope? What if we allowed ourselves to be so single-minded that we became unable to leave that place of hope and faith in the Lord and His plans? This is what God is calling us to. Step out of the strongholds that were never really holding you. Visit those who are in their own prisons. Then step into becoming prisoners of hope and watch for the turn around and double blessing that is coming!