Last time I talked about being freed from a chain of bondage. Chains of bondage come in all sizes, shapes and weights, but they all have one thing in common: they keep us from walking freely in Christ. Once those chains have been laid down, though, we can be tempted to pick them back up again.
The enemy of God will whisper to us that that person isn’t worth forgiving, that we need to go back to that drug or alcohol or a myriad of other forms of physical and spiritual bondage. And our own flesh, that is our sinful nature, will give way to its weaknesses and after months or even years of carrying these chains we can become so accustomed to them that we pick them up again. Just as the power of God transformed us at the cross, only His power can heal our hearts, mature our spirits and allow us to walk away from the chains that bind us.
“For in that He Himself (Jesus Christ) has suffered, having been tempted, He is able to rescue those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18
Although He didn’t sin, Jesus understands what it’s like to be tempted, and He understands our weaknesses. He desires to rescue us as many times as it takes. He is the Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to go after the one who is lost. He is the Father who waits with open arms until His prodigal son or daughter comes home.
If God has delivered you from a chain of bondage and you’ve picked it back up again, don’t give up. God loves you and He wants you to go to Him in faith and ask Him to help you again. Sometimes it takes a lot of prayer, a determination to be obedient and the renewing of our minds in Christ as we abide in Him before we will be completely free of certain things.
Years ago, I had to go through a months-long process of forgiving the man who raped me several times before I was finally, blessedly able to leave the chain of unforgiveness and walk beyond it. I didn’t feel like forgiving him, but I wanted to be obedient to the Lord. And I knew that unforgiveness would choke the spiritual life out of me if I didn’t let that chain go. After several months of telling God over and over that I was choosing to forgive, God met me in my obedience and the Spirit healed my heart.
“Faithful is He who called you, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24