Have you ever felt caged? 

Picture the scene, you, in a cage. You can’t get out. However, upon looking more closely, you notice the cage door unlocked, even ajar, and the absence of chains restraining you. So it’s not that you cannot get out; it’s that you will not come out. You don’t like being caged, so the obvious question surfaces: Why do you stay in the cage?

The camera lens pans out, revealing more of the scene. Intense lights illuminate the area, but not the good light that chases away darkness and cast out shadows. These are the lights of interrogation. You hear voices, too. From the four corners of the room, four smallish, indistinguishable, beings shout accusations at you. You realize, it's these beings’ accusations that keep you from exiting the cage! 

Suddenly, you see something else, another person in the cage. It’s Jesus. He promises to stay with you, whether you remain in the cage or step out the cage.  

The camera’s view widens again, and this time, what you see stuns you. The perspective reaches beyond the scene’s borders, exposing its parameters. This “scene” is nothing but a set, like a movie set or a stage set. It’s not reality, only a mirage of sorts. 

As long as the camera lens did not widen to capture more of the picture, you believed this to be your true existence—you in a cage, with Jesus, the beings shouting accusations under interrogation lights. But it’s not reality. Oh, you are really in the cage, an unwitting hostage, playing the part of someone they accuse you of being, but not who you really are. And, actually, you permitted the set to be built. With each accusing lie shouted by the beings, which you internalized and agreed with, the little beings drug a piece of the set onto your land. Piece by piece they erected the set around you, until you were caged. 

There is no shame or condemnation in the revelation that you have believe lies, permitting the set to be built. That truth is, oddly, welcomed news and a key to your freedom.

Now, imagine a giant wave engulfs the set. The receding waters reveal a rocky seashore. The set with the cage, interrogation lights, and accusing beings have all been washed away. You stand on a huge rock, Jesus holding you, so you would not be washed away by the wave. You are free! However, Jesus warns the beings will be back, and they will attempt to rebuild the set, piece by piece, with each accusation.

But, you are not a helpless victim. You possess the power and authority to stop them. When you hear one of those accusing lies, if you have eyes to see, you’ll notice a little being dragging a piece of the set onto your land. Tell the being, “No! You don’t speak the truth of who I am, and you cannot put that there.” 

You are not who they say you are.

     You are not what you have done or what has been done to you.

          You are not even who you think you are.

               You are who God says you are…

His beloved, perfected in love, fearfully and wonderfully made,                                              carefully fashioned, unique, cherished, wanted, adopted, full of purpose,                                   beautiful, made in the image of God, worth dying for,                                                                 rescued, redeemed, restored, forgiven, and free.