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PRISONS OF THE MIND; CAN DEAFNESS SET THE CAPTIVE FREE?

Last updated on November 3, 2023

Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.

 

Psalm 146:7

Recently a deaf person contacted me, and it profoundly touched my heart. Her struggles are universal, not just confined to those who are hearing-impaired. I pray that my words are thought-provoking and helpful.

Satan’s biggest deception is to masquerade as an angel of light. He wants to trick us into believing, if it were possible, that Jesus Christ is not the answer. The paradox is that God made us both strong and weak. We are strong in fighting for life at all costs, longing for what He gave us in the beginning. We are weak because we can’t find true happiness except in our relationship with Him. If Satan can convince us we can be gods, our pride will make us reluctant to admit we need Him. Humility lies at the beginning of the road to salvation.

There are many kinds of prisons, and you’ve found one of them—the bottle. Prisons null our pain but also take away our freedom—most importantly, the freedom to choose. Similarly, God never takes away our freedom to fail, but He will give us what we need to succeed. The devil will give you what you think you want, but God will give you Himself. Some prisoners will go to their graves, having sold their souls to the devil. For what? A fabricated lie that will doom them to eternal damnation.

Freedom in Christ will never take away the freedom to choose. If you have made idols of your wants that you believe will bring you happiness, you will be imprisoned in your mind by false gods that can’t save your soul. You will have settled for Satan’s counterfeit. Sin feels good at the time, but a moment of bliss can bring a lifetime of regret. Ultimately, evil will destroy your ability to hear God’s voice. Don’t forget that eternity is forever. We will all spend eternity in heaven or hell. The choice is ours.

You are strong in the sense you have found freedom by conquering your dependency on alcohol. God has blessed you with a spouse to love and cherish. As you have discovered, however, it’s not enough to be free FROM something. We need to find our freedom IN something.

Nothing in this world is enough to bring us complete happiness. There are not enough power ball winnings, adoration of fans, cushy jobs, plastic surgery, or computer gadgets to fill our hearts. We weren’t made to have a relationship with idols. God created us to have a relationship with Him. God wanted an earthly human family like He had a heavenly family. All other pursuits may bring partial or temporary happiness, but they are fleeting at best.

That brings me to the root of your quest for answers. Who is God? You were born deaf, and you have devoted your life to overcoming this limitation to survive in a world where nearly everyone hears. You feel flawed and short-changed, and your perceptions have influenced your choices.

Has it ever occurred to you that God made you that way for a purpose? You might ask, “Why would God do that?”

We tend to ask that question about our own “flaws,” “disappointments,” or “shortcomings.” I have asked myself that same question. I’ve even asked it of others. Why did God take away my friend’s eyesight? Why did my beautiful, adopted daughter from Nepal suffer from partial-complex seizures? Why did God allow her to drink contaminated water in Nepal? Why are there 150 million orphans worldwide with little hope of being adopted?

My goal is not to make you feel guilty or to compare your disability with others. You have already done that. We all have. That is part of Satan’s ploy to guilt us into feeling like we’re no good or trick us into comparing ourselves with others using a legalistic yardstick. God does not measure our value in such a demonic, meaningless way.

We need to remember how much our sin grieves God. It took the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, to make it possible for us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Can we truly know the cost of sin in today’s Kingdom of Darkness? Do we know the depths of our fallen state without God’s divine intervention?

We can’t see it—except through suffering. We see affliction when we see a young child die of cancer. We see death on the battlefield. We witness the trauma from a car accident that devastates a family. We mourn when a young person dies from a drug overdose, and we’re traumatized when we see the effects of sex trafficking. We shake our fists and proclaim the wickedness of man, aghast that any decent human being could rip out a young girl’s genitals and sell her into slavery. We cringe and become angry at what we know is wrong and inhumane.

Our infirmities remind us of our need for Jesus Christ. When we finally realize how weak we are in the spirit to do even one good thing, we’ll repent if God is in us. Our blindness, deafness, and diseases awaken us from an indifferent slumber and instill in us a longing for God to wipe away every tear and heal us. We don’t suffer in vain—we suffer for God’s glory.

If we give our weaknesses to Him, something supernatural happens within us. The Holy Spirit gives us boldness, enabling us to let go of past hurts and forgive. We take our eyes off ourselves and focus our hearts and minds on the One Who created us. We remember once again we aren’t made for this world. We are made for eternity.

Your ability to rise above your deafness can only take you so far—it can’t overcome that emptiness within you that only the Holy Spirit can fill. Jesus Christ is so much bigger than your deafness that if you allowed Him into your heart, your heart couldn’t contain Him. You would burst with happiness—not because you’re deaf, but because your cup would runneth over with joy.

God has given each person many talents. He has given you the gift of writing. If you want God to use you to help others, you must choose one gift you’ve not yet unwrapped. You need to claim His gift of salvation.

You have figured out how to live in this world marginally happy, but you know something is missing. You’re using the freedom God gave you to reject Him, His love for you, and His free gift—Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection three days later.

Forever is a very long time. If you die as a believer, you will be given a new body with perfect hearing in the Kingdom of Heaven. The greatest gift you’ll receive in heaven will be your appreciation for what you never had here. I believe my greatest gift will be the unconditional love of Jesus—the assurance that He’ll never leave me.

God manifests His glory in heaven, but we see glimpses of it here, in the twinkling of the stars against the night sky and in the glistening sand that covers the seashore. If God lavished us with all His gifts here, would we really appreciate them? How many people have died lonely and broken—seemingly, who had everything? How many truly happy people live in Hollywood?

It is out of our need that God fills us. The nothingness is what draws us to Him and enables us to be used by Him. We become His witness, His voice, His legs, His eyes, His ears, and His servants. We become part of the Great Commission.

Ask yourself: How can I use my deafness to draw people into a relationship with Jesus Christ? Use the one thing you don’t have to glorify Him—and you will discover your greatest need will become your greatest asset.

Remember that God loves you. He loves you more than you can imagine. Someday you will stand before heaven’s gates. Will they open and allow you to enter? Don’t let anyone take away your desire to know the truth. As the Bible says, the truth will set you free. The search for answers will lead you down paths only God can answer. You won’t find those answers in bottles of wine or quick fixes that lead to death.

I want to share a short excerpt from my book, Seventh Dimension – The Door, about a young girl who spent her whole life bullied and rejected by others. Her worthless and destructive self-image imprisoned her. Read what the King did for her and ask yourself, “Is this not me?”

Then the King turned towards me. I now knew the King completely—as my heavenly Father, the father who loved me, the father who would never leave me or forsake me.

“Your sins are forgiven.” He held out his hands, and the fresh scars on his wrists overwhelmed me.

Tears flowed freely.

He said, “I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

A birdcage gently floated down from the sky and landed in his outstretched hands. He took the cage and hung it on an olive tree. A small bird sat inside the cage. The King opened the door to the cage, and the small creature walked from its perch and alighted on his finger. He lifted the bird out of the cage, kissed it, and whispered, “You are a daughter of the king.”

I realized at that moment he was saying those words to me. I felt his tender kiss on my forehead. I gazed into the sky as the bird flew into the heavens. Before I could say anything, the King was gone.

Jesus said in Luke 4:18-19,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the Gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

You’ve been a prisoner long enough. Jesus wants to set you free. He has opened the door to your heart, just as He opened the door to the bird cage for Shale and set her free. Don’t delay. Invite Jesus in, ask Him to forgive you, receive the Holy Spirit, and begin the first day of the rest of your life. You have a story to tell that only you can share. Someone needs to hear it, not the least of which is me. I want to know what Jesus has done in your life.

Dear Jesus, I thank you that you set all the prisoners free—even now and forever.

To read more vignettes like this one, purchase God’s Good Works: Stories to Treasure and Tales to Ponder by clicking here.

To learn more about God’s Good Works: Stories to Treasure and Tales to Ponder, click here.

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Published inGod’s Good WorksStories to Treasure

10 Comments

  1. Teena Stewart Teena Stewart

    The apostle Paul, in his writings, spoke about having a thorn in his flesh. It was something he disliked in himself, some perceived weakness which he prayed for God to remove. (There has been much speculation as to what that was.) However, despite those prayers, God didn't remove it. Even those who follow Christ have things that are a part of them they long to change or remove. Strange that you would talk about this on this blog today, Lorilyn. In my book The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father, I talk about women as being lost treasure, something God values greatly, like a gemstone. I also speak to how God works on refining us. Like gemstones, we have both flaws and inclusions. Flaws can be chipped off or smoothed out. Inclusions are a part of who we are. We may wish to be rid of it or be angry at God for including it as part of us, but it will remain a part of our nature. I have two inclusions that have caused me much pain. They are the flip side to the same coin for me. The first is the inability to do math or logic types of things. It is not a mild malfunction but a severe one. The other is being made a highly creative person. You may think that is a desirable trait, but I can tell you that even as we speak it is causing all kinds of issues…primarily the ability to stay focused on one thing. What I have learned is that God can work in us despite that and he can use those quirks to serve others and be an inspiration. If you can possibly embrace that difference or what you perceive as an oddity, I think God will use it in an amazing way to connect and inspire others. He has done the same with many others, including me. There is little hope if we try to do it ourselves, but great hope when we allow God to work through us.

  2. Unknown Unknown

    Lorilyn wrote, "The devil will give you what you think you want—God will give you Himself". Many people reject Jesus because they think their lives are fine and better be left as they are. The gift of Salvation is more than conquering the odds of life or acquiring the finest things the earth has to offer. The gift of Salvation is primarily about having a Father-Daughter or Son relationship with the Creator of the universe through His precious Son, Jesus Christ. Through Salvation God is calling us to know and enjoy Him personally. This is the greatest gift that cannot be compared to anything of this world. Having God Himself dims all that glitters of this world. God loves us so much that He just wants us to have Him and having Him brings along His joy, peace , liberty, and astonishingly, His mind.

  3. Katherine Harms Katherine Harms

    A wise teacher once told me that to repent is to “radically reorient.”
    I am eternally grateful for the morning in church that the pastor prayed, “Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for forgiving all our sin, not because we deserve it, but for Jesus’ sake.” It wasn’t as if I hadn’t heard it many times, but on that day, I was ready to hear the truth. The light dawned. It wasn’t up to me after all. I don’t know where I got the idea that I needed to be perfect before I talked to God, but I had already learned that I could not be perfect even for a day. In this prayer, I came to understand that Jesus really did die for all my sins and for my sinful inability to be perfect as God is perfect even for one minute. I reoriented radically when I let go and realized I could not perfect myself. I radically reoriented when I trusted that Jesus had endured an unthinkably cruel death on the cross in order to save me from a force, Satan, who wanted to do the same thing to me.
    The experience might be compared to that of being picked up in a whirlwind and set down on a different path. Radical reorientation. I felt as if a ton of bricks had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt new. Even more, I felt as if I could go to God the next time I failed him and ask for forgiveness, knowing I would undoubtedly fail yet again. That was a radically new concept for me, to accept the truth that I would never in this life be perfect. You think being deaf is an imperfection. Ha! Try dealing with the complete inability to see the good in other people, because you are so fixated on trying to be the perfect one yourself. That attitude is deaf to the truth about self, and that attitude makes it impossible to get reoriented, because you have so much invested in the path you are on, doomed though it may be.
    I was completely changed when I experienced God’s full forgiveness of all my sin through Christ and for His sake. I saw all my sin and all my sins, and I mourned them, but instead of letting that knowledge paralyze me, God’s forgiveness lifted it all away and set me free to be the person God had created me to be. Satan had used my willingness to acknowledge all my sin as a tool to prevent me from ever becoming the person God intended. I thought I was so worthless and inept that God could never use me for anything good. In my radically reoriented life I discovered that I was somebody special to him. He freed me to discover and develop my gifts in service to him.
    There is nothing that compares to knowing Christ in a loving, forgiving relationship. In ancient Babylon, three Hebrews were put on trial and threatened with being thrown into a blazing hot furnace. Their crime was their unwillingness to worship a golden statue the king had set up. They were important administrators in his kingdom, and they were good at their jobs. The king didn’t want to lose them. He pleaded with them just to do what he asked and save themselves from being burned alive. Today we would say, “Go along to get along.” They replied, “If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.” In other words, the pain of being burned up in that furnace did not compare with the joy of living their lives in relationship with God. They could not “go along to get along,” because they did not want to give up that relationship. I feel the same way about my “radically reoriented” life.

  4. Rose McCauley Rose McCauley

    Dear fellow writer, I don't feel adequate to add anything to Lorilyn's passionate and true words exhorting you to accept the Greatest Gift of all–Jesus into your heart, except that I am praying you will do so. But you and I do have some experiences in common so I will speak to them

    My maternal grandparents who had a profound influence on my life were both deaf–my grandmother from birth and my grandfather after having spinal meningitis as a baby. They raised one child–my mother. They both held jobs–my grandmother ironed for Goodwill and my Papa was a tailor at Levi Brothers clothing store in downtown Louisville. They didn't drive, but took the city bus to work each morning and home at night in all kinds of weather. They were both known for their great work ethic and their dependability. They also rode the bus again each Sunday morning to church, and I often went with them. The churches in our neighborhood didn't have deaf services so they rode the bus to a Baptist church in downtown Louisville where they could experience God's Word preached and fellowship with other Christians.

    So, I encourage you to seek out a church in your area that holds deaf services or has a sign language interpreter so you can hear God's Word preached and have fellowhsip with Christians who are deaf.

    All I know of you is in Lorilyn's response, but since she mentioned that you have overcome your alcohol addiction, I applaud you for that. One of the reasons my grandparents had such an influence on my life was that due to my dad's alcoholism they often had to take my mom and us 6 kids (later 7) into their two bedroom home and share their food with us due to my dad's violence when drunk and also spending all his money on liquor. So, I do hope and pray your wife or children never have to experience any of those hardships. My dad was sober the last 18 years of his life after he started attending AA meetings at the age of 46, but he never accepted Jesus as his Savior until 2 weeks before he died at the age of 64. So, I know people can leave alcoholism behind without accepting the Lord, but my dad still lived a very selfish life up until his salvation in the hospital bed. He spent his money and time as he wanted on cigarettes, gambling, betting on horses, etc.

    So, again, I hope and pray you will accept Jesus as your Savior now while you have time ahead of you and can treat your family with God's love by His Spirit living in you and enabling you to serve Him and others. Don't wait like my dad did. None of us know how long we have on this earth, but God wants you to live for him now and to spend eternity with Him! Even if we never meet on this earth, I pray we will in heaven someday, my fellow-writing friend.

  5. Patience Patience

    I was born with a disease called Usher Syndrome; I am very hard of hearing and legally blind. I can deal with my not hearing very well, it’s the blindness that’s difficult.

    At an early age I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and he has helped me through the difficult times of life. But although I was a Christian, I was still in bondage by Satan; I had the fear of Rejection. I studied and learned how to rebuke the Spirit of Rejection and now I’m on top of the world shouting, Jesus is the King of King and Lord of Lords! Jesus was the most rejected person on earth.

    Now the Lord has turned my curse into a blessing. I wrote a book sharing Jesus in the last days. The book is about Revelation and Bible prophecy. When writing the book I had to learn how to share Jesus with people and one of the most convincing arguments is Jesus fulfilled 333 Bible prophecies concerning his birth, death and resurrection. Mind blowing.

    Another thing is the power of prayer, if in doubt pray. Just pray, he will hear you.

    Blessings,

    Patience Prence

  6. Lorilyn Roberts Lorilyn Roberts

    I love your comparison to gemstones, great analogy, Teena, especially when you think about the fact that God has made each of unique, and God doesn't make mistakes — He can us for His glory, warts and all, as I like to say.

  7. Lorilyn Roberts Lorilyn Roberts

    It is amazing, isn't it. Until you have tasted God's goodness, you can't imagine the difference the relationship with Him makes in your life.

  8. Lorilyn Roberts Lorilyn Roberts

    I like that phrase, radically reoriented. It's amazing how Satan so distorts God's truth. I also struggled with the feeling of being worthless when I was young, and to reorient that thinking into the right mindset, we are worthless in ourselves, but completely worthy in our relationship with Christ, it totally turns the truth on itself. Satan can't do anything with that, so all he can do is try to make it difficult for us to have a relationship with Christ.

    I was recently struck with something that I heard John Piper say, "Satan tries his best to keep us from having a quiet time with God not with bad things but with good things." I now work very hard each day to have that quiet time, because it's hard to have a relationship with someone you don't spend time with. That's a radical reorientation from before, when I was always beset with guilt for not getting enough good things done. Thanks for sharing, Katherine.

  9. Lorilyn Roberts Lorilyn Roberts

    Amen, Rose.

    Thanks for sharing. What a story about your life. I didn't know how your life had been impacted by deafness and alcoholism. My birth father was an alcoholic also. Terrible how it affects families.

  10. Lorilyn Roberts Lorilyn Roberts

    The Old Testament prophecies about Jesus is what convinced me He was who He said He was. I read the Gospel of Matthew when I was 12, and when I read about all the prophecies He had fulfilled, I believed then He had died for me. Then I had a hard time accepting the fact that I was good enough to die for. Not that any of us are, but I must have recited the sinner's prayer a hundred times before I realized I was already saved. I laugh now — part of my own insecurity. I wanted to make sure I didn't get left behind.

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