Before this faith came, we were held prisoners . . . , locked up until faith should be revealed. (Galatians 3: 23)
God, in times past, caused people to be kept subject to His law so they would learn the more excellent way of faith. For it was through the law that they would see God’s holy standard and thereby realize their own utter helplessness. Then they would gladly learn His way of faith.
God still causes us to be “locked up until faith” is learned. Our own nature, circumstances, trials, and disappointments all serve to keep us submissive and “locked up” until we see that the only way out is His way of faith. Moses attempted the deliverance of his people by using self-effort, his personal influence, and even violence. So God “locked [him] up” for forty years in the wilderness before he was prepared for His work.
Paul and Silas were called of God to preach the gospel in Europe. In Philippi they were “severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer . . . fastened their feet in the stocks” (Acts 16: 23– 24). They were “locked up” to faith. They trusted God and sang praises to Him in their darkest hour, and God brought deliverance and salvation.
The apostle John was also “locked up” to faith, when he was banished to the Isle of Patmos. And if he had never been sent there, he would never have seen such glorious visions of God.
Dear reader, are you in some terrible trouble? Have you experienced some distressing disappointment, sorrow, or inexpressible loss? Are you in a difficult situation? Cheer up! You have been “locked up” to faith. Accept your troubles in the proper way and commit them to God. Praise Him “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Rom. 8: 28) and that He “acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Isa. 64: 4). God will send you blessings and help,and will reveal truths to you that otherwise would never have come your way. And many others will also receive great insights and blessings because you were “locked up” to learn the way of faith.
~C. H. P.
Great things are done when man and mountains meet,
These are not done by walking down the street.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 325). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.