January, 2004 Wingspread
Victory in Prison
By Billie Marie Zal
Until the Lord Jesus sets us free from the “law of sin and death” we are all prisoners. Prison means confinement and we are in bondage and confinement to sin of every kind.
I should know. I remember as far back as age two that I knew the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. God gives each of us a conscience and what we do with that light determines our destiny in Eternity.
As for me, I WANTED to obey my conscience and of course my parents represented the authority of God. I am amazed sometimes when I speak with friends and they tell me that they didn’t care whether or not they pleased their parents. I used to wish sometimes that I did not care. Caring made me dependent because I was open then to their correction and discipline.
I praise God for a tender conscience then, because it would in time be used of God to make me into a vessel fit for His use. Once I was living in an apartment hotel in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and our’s was on the second floor. One of Mother’s friends left her little boy off to visit while she shopped, and I resented him. His name was “Dewey,” and Mama showered her affection upon him. I hated him. He was getting the love that I felt belonged totally to ME. I was only three, but I remember it well.
Dewey decided to look out the window of the bedroom so he could “see down below” and he unhooked the window screen that prevented a good view. I knew perfectly well what would happen if he shoved it open too far, but I kept silent. I stood, watching, with my rag doll in my arms. I was waiting for Dewey’s demise.
I also remember the conflicting thought that raced through my mind. I KNEW it was wrong to want him dead but I was determined to remove that which hindered my mother’s total acceptance of ME. He began to push the screen outward and as he did, his body hung over the window sill and suddenly the screen swung wildly and he was hanging on to the hook with only his toes holding him from a horrible fall. By now he was terrified and crying for help. Mother was in the next room, and had I just called out she would have come running. But I dawdled. I walked as slowly as possible to the kitchen and stood in the doorway, swinging my rag doll. I spoke very softly so that she would not be able to understand me. I said, “Dewey is about to fall out the window.” She turned around, and asked, “What did you say?” Then I said, DEWEY IS ABOUT TO FALL OUT THE WINDOW!” (By now I figured he was long gone.) She screamed, ran into the bedroom, and grabbed him by the ankles just in time.
Suddenly I felt shabby, unworthy of ANYONE’S love. And I could never forget that act of hatred that could, in time, turn into murder if I did not get rid of it. I did not push him, or force him to hang out the window, but I had WANTED him to be hurt and that, in God’s sight, is murder. It was a lesson that would remain with me throughout my lifetime and I thank God that He enabled me to face it, at so tender an age, and refuse to make excuses for myself.
I discovered, too, that a person’s affections belong to him and he has the right to withhold or give that affection as he chooses. It has nothing to do with me. I often wonder how many adults still hate the object of their parents affections and wish those objects dead?
This little incident reveals to me how unworthy we are, even from our birth, to receive anything good from God. It proves that the Word is true: we DO inherit the sin of Adam and we are most certainly born in sin. As children we are not accountable, but the day comes when we are.
For me, on that day when Dewey almost fell and died, I was set free from my personal prison of hatred for those who received what I felt was my right to receive.
But there are other prisons. I had a friend once who was emotionally unstable. She came to a group of Christians in South Arkansas and told them that she was demon possessed and wanted deliverance. There was a special prayer service, and as they cast out demons, it took all five men to hold her down, though she weighed less than one hundred pounds.
The next day the demons had returned and the ladies called for me to come over and help them. Now I had never been one to go around casting out demons. Demonic spirits come in and take residence only when we want them to, and this young woman had obviously not been ready to let them go. She was filled with hatred and when I walked into the room, the ladies were all terrified.
I did not feel frightened. I saw a person who had enjoyed doing her own thing all her life, and enjoying the attention she got from talking about the various demons who inhabited her. As I listened to her talk, God’s Love swept over me and I knew she would be set free.
One of her main problems was her hatred of her younger brother. She resented his being born, and taking away the attention she felt she deserved from her Mother. Once she tried to get him killed by telling him to run across a busy street in the face of oncoming traffic.
She resented her mother’s love for her little brother and could not deal with it. Later on, she turned to promiscuity and eventually became pregnant. She gave her baby to a pastor and his wife and had now decided to “get her baby back.”
When I walked into the room where she and the ladies set, I saw a very rebellious person who needed a touch from God. She was enjoying the discomfiture she had brought with her to these religious people. When I sat down she began to tell her story again about all the demons who inhabited her.
Finally, I spoke up. I said to her, “You have been possessed because you WANT TO BE. You have rebelled against every rule and have hated God’s will, and you sit there blaming everyone else except yourself. No demon spirit can enter you without your permission. This can be the day of your deliverance or it can shut you out from God’s loving presence and His power. But God will not hear any excuses. No one is to blame for your condition but yourself.”
It was like a bomb fell. Great sobs went through her, and she fell down upon the floor. To everyone’s amazement, she began to crawl and slither on her stomach like a snake and she headed toward me. I spoke loudly to her: “Get up! You will not crawl on your belly like a snake and try to worship me. You either get up and worship God or GET OUT.”
Immediately the room cleared of the horrible oppression. A great burden was lifted off her, and she cried out for Jesus Christ to be Lord of her life. The demons departed and Light broke through! This young woman left her prison and was set free at last.
There are also prisons of lust. Sometimes I wonder what this generation of children will become when I see the trash that fills their minds on the television, magazines, etc. How, if no one is there to teach them differently, can they ever know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil? And it isn’t just television. It is everywhere, the filth. No one notices the sexually oriented “jokes,” or the “sitcoms” with sexual implications. We are supposed to laugh. But it isn’t funny. Our society is in a prison of sexual immorality and no one is doing a thing about it. The activist groups don’t get anywhere because a person must begin in one’s home if society is to get cleaned up. Parents are not home. Children are left to themselves with tragic results.
Once a young man came to our meeting and a PLAYBOY magazine fell out of his jacket. I asked him, “Is that your PLAYBOY?” He turned brick red and said, “NO, someone else must have put it in my jacket.” A lame excuse, but at least he did know the magazine was pure filth.
There are also religious prisons. I recently saw an evangelist’s son being “puffed” on his Dad’s program. He is a novice and though his heart is turned toward God, he has nothing to keep him from the prison of pride and enjoyment of public adulation. When we put our children into the limelight we put them in a prison from which it is very difficult to escape.
The desire to achieve can imprison us. We will let down barriers, wink at sin, and throw away our Light from God many times in order to get “to the top,” not only in secular but also in religious circles.
What to do, then? Can we ever be free? The answer comes with the “Truth of the Reality of Christ’s birth, death on the Cross, His burial, His descent into hell, and His resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father. If we trust in His Life as our very own, then we, too, will live “far above every principality, and power and wicked spirit in Heavenly places.” We will be free indeed.
Make this new year the beginning of a release from your private prison. And God bless and keep you in His perfect will.
Written in January, 1991
Billie's Prayer Plant - November 6, 2003
From the March, 1991 Wingspread:
My Daddy’s Prayer Plant: Some of you may remember a little story I told you about Daddy’s prayer plant. He went to Glory in 1982, and after the funeral I went up to his home and I found a sprig of a “prayer plant” in his kitchen window. It had miraculously survived, sitting in a little glass with no water to nourish it.
I brought it home, put it into the soil in one of my potted plant containers and really didn’t expect it to survive. BUT IT DID SURVIVE. It grew and grew until I had at least seventeen leaves on it. I began to notice a strange thing about it. Even as the green leaves were growing, little “shoots” were peeping up through the soil. Then, as the shoots grew into long stemmed plants, the “old” leaves would curl up and die. To me, it was a lesson. New life comes out of death. That is the law of the Spirit of Life. And I treasured that plant and watched over it with great joy. Well, nine years have passed and once again I have transplanted the prayer plant into a larger vessel. New shoots are peeping up, and the old leaves are dying. I believe that my Daddy knows about the Prayer Plant. And he is glad.
A poem I found by Billie written in 1991, I believe:
Is this my crown?
Ah, Master, can it be
This wretched cap of thorns
Was meant for me?
This shapeless, woven mass of misery?
You say there’s beauty in it?
Beauty in it’s twisted, binding agony?
But wait - pain comes from anguish, true...
But also pain brings forth a life anew -
For in my suffering I see
My Master’s Face, my own Identity -
Oh yes, this Crown of Thorns
Is meant for me -
No longer just a cap of misery.
There’s beauty in each sharp and peirce’d edge -
There’s joy and life and safety like a hedge -
Praise be to Thee, my Lamb of Calvary
That I should share
Thy Cap of Misery.
By Billie Marie Zal
Prayer Requests for this month:
For: Jay, who lives in Margaret’s old house, is having surgery on his hand this coming Monday. He has a problem with a tendon. Pray for a quick recovery and for full use of Jay’s hand again.
For: David Ash at Dixon, Illinois. He needs a place live and support after he is released In May of 2004. Pray that he’ll find a solution and be able to meet his needs.
For: Judy Oakley, who still undergoes chemotherapy treatment for her Leukimia. She has been receiving encouraging reports and is progressing. Pray God will work a miracle and that her blood tests will return to normal.
For: Our neighbors across the road, Jerry and Colleen Brock, Sandra, Ginger and Gary. Jerry is in the midst of a battle with cancer, as is Sandra. Ginger recently had a biopsy for breast cancer and will undergo surgery soon. Pray for the entire family and ask for healing for Jerry, Sandra and Ginger. Their family has been through so much and we not only need to pray for those aforementioned who are sick, but for the extended family as well - that God will give them the strength to make it through this. They are the most wonderful neighbors and have always been there for us.
For: Anthony Grayson at Fallsburg, New York. Anthony is seeking habeas corpus relief in the federal courts and wants us to pray that he will receive some type of relief through these efforts.
For: For Sister Ann and our sisters in Little Rock who encourage us and pray for all of us daily.
For: Tony Collier at Dixon, Illinois, who just wants prayer for his family to be healthy, safe and blessed.
For: Marcos Zavala at Lubbuck, Texas..........He has pain and numbness in his leg and hip and hasn’t found out yet what is causing this.
For: Robert Crowder at Taylorville, Illinois. He wants to do God’s will and asks that God might allow him to go home so that he can take care of his Mother. He also asks that we pray that he might be reunited with his daughter.
For: Francis Nolan Holland at Tucker, Arkansas. His Clemency Application has not been decided yet and he asks for continual prayer until the outcome is certain.
For: Cantrell Watts at Granite, Oklahoma, that God will give Him the understanding of Scripture that he seeks.
For: Raymond Sanders at Tennessee Colony, Texas. Raymond was led to the Lord by Billie a few years ago when she prayed over a letter Raymond had written telling us he had been diagnosed with cancer. He was healed and his cancer has been resting upon Jesus ever since. Raymond is grieving the loss of Billie terribly and needs prayer that God will give him some peace and bring joy into his heart. We all need prayer on this matter and ask that God will ease this pain we have and help us to better understand His will in taking Billie Home.
For: Ussly Revels at Tennessee Colony, Texas, who wants prayer that God will show him favor as he pursues his appeal in the courts.
For: Dewey Moore at McAlester, Oklahoma, with his legal efforts.
For: Richard Russell at McAlester, Oklahoma, that he will be able to see his Mother soon.
For: Tony Collier at Dixon, Illinois, who wants us to pray for his family’s health.
For: Charolette Harris, who is at the North Arkansas Life Care Center in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. Charolette recently had a stroke and is also undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor. Pray for her recovery.
For: Willie Scott at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as he seeks release at his clemency hearing.
For: L.D. Thomas at Lawton, Oklahoma, that he’ll receive his Level II status. L.D. also asks us to pray for his cell partner, William McKelvy, who is disabled with epilepsy, and who recently broke his hip.
For: Our friend Jean, who has an abusive husband; pray that God will intervene in this situation and do whatever is necessary to make her life better.
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