This is the last post I will make on prisoners, at least for now. These are not a complete list of all of the different types of prisons that there are but enough that you get the idea that most of the world is living in a prison of one type or another. We become prisoners because of our own choices that we make, often with incomplete or erroneous information. The way out of the prison is always the same. You can not do it on your own strength but there is one who can and will set you free on the condition that you place your faith in Him instead of yourself, and then follow His instructions.
Today we will look at the prison of MISAPPROPRIATED AUTHORITY. Whenever a person is placed in a position of authority, it is for the purpose of service to others. It is not for personal gain or because you are something special. As long as that service is maintained then the people under that authority are blessed. But when that authority is used for personal gain then the people under that authority suffer. Authority itself is not the problem, but when that authority ceases to serve others and assumes an alternate purpose, it becomes a restricting and controlling prison. Those under that authority are caught in a prison of abuse and pride and the original purpose of being a blessing, is lost.
So what is the proper response to those caught in this prison? Rebellion against authority is not the answer for authority is necessary. There are seven types of authority that have been established by God to serve the people. (See The Mystery of Faith, chapter 3, page 26) A respect for authority must be maintained and as much as is possible it should be obeyed. Just as those who find themselves caught in other prisons cannot free themselves, neither can these free themselves. They must be set free. These prisoners should appeal to the ultimate authority, God. By living under the established authority does not mean blind obedience, but rather a conscious acceptance of the result of your own actions. If you disobey the authority it may bring consequence. Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3) faced the fiery furnace because of the refusal to bow to the golden idol, we must be willing to accept the consequence of our actions. It is then up to God how we are delivered. It may be that we will suffer pain for a season or even death but God will give us grace to sustain us, and we will have pleased the Lord. It may be that we will be miraculously delivered that God will be seen for who He is. The real trial is not the circumstance but do we trust the Lord with our lives? John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.