Imagine a beautiful field with lovely thick and rich grass. There are wild flowers present and a brook flowing with crystal clear spring water. Dotted throughout the landscape are sheep – happy, oblivious sheep. You are observing this picture from a prison window complete with iron bars and find yourself thinking, “If only I could be like one of those sheep, but alas I am here in prison bound to this cold, damp and dark place.” The odd thing is however, that the prison door is open. You could walk right through the door and enjoy the lush green field. But you do not because fear holds you in this prison and you can only wish yourself elsewhere.
A reality? No.
A lie? Yes.
But, it sure feels true to you. Why? Fear is a prison, a prison of self. The Bible reveals to us that the truth sets us free. Fear, often generated by a lie, is imprisoning so many people today that they fail to discover their potential, their gifts and their passions. Fear keeps them from dreaming and quickly ends any thought of freedom. Fear gripped many in the Bible. One verse in Job stands out to me, “Fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake.” (4:14) David often felt fear around his enemies. But it was David who wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” (Ps. 23:4) David, a shepherd, also knew The Shepherd who would let him walk out of the prison of self-imposed fear and be restored beside the quiet waters flowing through the green pastures. He is with you.