Two years ago, I felt the Lord speak to my heart: “If I asked you to exchange places with a prisoner in a North Korean prison, would you do it?”
I then had a vision of a prisoner huddling in the corner of a dark cell. The prisoner’s eyes mirrored the fear and hopelessness of his situation. His haggard face and skinny arms revealed the dangerous malnutrition he suffered. The ragged clothing he wore offered little protection from the frigid temperatures of the North Korean winter.
The vision seemed so real, that it felt like if I answered “yes,” the exchange would happen immediately. My wife, my family, and my friends would never know what happened to me. I would be gone. All of my writing and everything I ever hoped to accomplish would be left behind.
To be honest, the Lord’s question stirred up mountains of fear within me. I really did not want to exchange places with the prisoner. Yet, how could I say “no” to the One who took my place on the cross almost two thousand years ago and saved me from suicide just twenty-nine years ago.
“Lord, it’s not my will to exchange places with a prisoner, but Your will be done in my life,” I finally prayed.
Obviously, the exchange did not take place that day, but that vision and that prayer set me free from whatever might hold me back from recklessly following the Lord wherever He leads me in the future.
So today I prayed:
Lord, help us Americans who wish to be Your disciples, to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses daily, and then follow You. (Based on Luke 9:23)
What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you?
Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.