I heard people talk about the Bible in a very derogatory way the other day. They were saying that the Bible promoted slavery. I know that the Bible had been misused to justify acts against humanity but I believe there was some misinterpretation involved that pushed people to engage in violent acts in the name of God. God is not about being in bondage and having people living in chains. God is about freedom and peace. He is not a God of captivity and prison. As a matter of fact, the most powerful event that was recorded in the Bible depicts freedom at its best. Jesus and the resurrection don’t go hand in hand with slavery and chains. Jesus came to break all the chains that will ever exist. His crucifixion was the price for all sins and all chains. When we live in the Lord, we should be living in freedom and deliverance. The problem is we often have chains left behind that we either hold on to or that we just can’t get rid of. The chains that are keeping areas of our lives in prison are real and they can slow us down in our walk with the Lord. We walk with shackles. It’s not easy to move forward when our feet are tied. We can’t leap and we can’t run. Today I want to encourage you to dig deep into your life, find the chains that are preventing you from living a fuller life in Christ and ask Him to remove the chains.
The first step is to find the chains. Some can be obvious and others require some deep introspection. We can’t find what we don’t know we are looking for. The Holy Spirit is the perfect ally on this quest to finding what is keeping us captive. He will reveal it to us when we submit to Him. He can give us a direct message or He can use someone to help us unearth the parts of our lives that are buried. Some parts can be so buried that we don’t see the direct effects they have on our lives and they are like a dormant serpent that can awaken at any time. These chains can often be found in the realm of our emotions. They can be pain from the past or scars that we had put a bandage on but that can bleed again unexpectedly. Traumatic experiences from childhood are chains that tend to be invisible. They can emerge and cause chaos and they should be dealt with. Can you imagine living in chains and not knowing it? It happens a lot. Everything appears to be fine on the surface but when push comes to shove, the chains show up and the person is captive to their past and ruled by their emotions. Jesus heals. Jesus still heals. He can heal our scars. He bore them on the cross for us. Let’s start the process of healing from past emotions and feelings that are very harmful to our spirits even if it doesn’t seem obvious. The Holy Spirit can guide us and help us on that journey. Healing is on the way when you let the Lord have His way!
I call Jesus the “chain-breaker”. He can break any chain. He can break the obvious ones and the ones that are hiding. Addiction is a chain. It’s a chain that is a lot more visible than others and it is hard to break. It can take a while even with the Lord because our will can get in the way. Our faith or lack thereof plays a role as well. No matter what the source of the chains is, the Lord loves and He can free us from guilt and shame. Those two negative agents can separate us from the Lord when all He is saying is “Come to Me.” Let’s present our guilt and shame to the Lord. Let’s go to Him freely. Let’s surrender. Healing can happen when we are willing to be healed, when we believe we can be healed and when we walk in love. The love part is a significant part. Forgiving others plays a role in our freedom. Love opens doors. We can’t go to a God who is love and not walk in love and expect to be blessed. God can bless us anytime but He is asking that we imitate Him and walk in love. It is a great doorway into the world of deliverance. When we love others, we let the Lord in and He can operate in our lives. My prayer for you today is that you start walking on the path of healing from any chains that might be getting in the way. God never intended for you and me to live in chains. He will break your chains. Trust Him!
Suggested reading: Psalm 107:14; Nahum 1:13; Romans 8:2