Thursday, January 9, 2014

SHACKLES OFF!



FREEDOM DAY HAS COME!

Jacob Marley: I wear the chain I forged in life!I made it link 
by link and yard by yard! I gartered it on my free will, and by my own free will, I wore it! ~ Charles Dickens, Christmas Carol, 1951





Dragging Chains Around
Ever feel like Jacob Marley? Dead and dragging dead weight behind? Jacob Marley tells us that his chains are the product of his lack of compassion and ethical behavior towards man kind. He will drag and pull these chains as a reminder of what he did and didn't do for others while he was alive. He was cursed eternally to remember selfish and heartless behavior. Of course,there's more, but I want us to stay with the image of Jacob Marley and his chains. He cries out, "I made them, I wore them!"

How did I get here?
Have decisions and choices in our lives resulted in a heavy heart, a guilty conscience, a burdened spirit, and a body pulling the dead weight of chains? These chains, as Jacob shared, are chains many  of us have placed upon ourselves. You know why. I believe that for a long time, much of my burden has been from waiting for my own burden to be lifted. Maybe you've been there. You hold on to faith and although you know it is time to move on, you stand still waiting and hoping there will be a change in circumstances.



Thinking God answers our way
The problem is that many times God doesn't answer our prayers the way we want. His silence can be the answer we've been waiting for. We misunderstand his change of direction for our lives as something negative and remain complacent in our misery because we feel we are proving to the world we have faith. The truth is, God doesn't answer according to our human thinking. His ways are higher than our ways.



Emotional and Mental Chains
God has shown me that I've been dragging along chains of confusion and fear. He's shown me that I've known the right path to take in many situations and still, I wouldn't budge from my spot because I wanted God to intervene the way my mind had envisioned the breakthrough, the deliverance and the changes. In His silence, He was waiting. I believe God has been waiting for me to take a step forward but first, remove the shackles. 

Take the Shackles off!
Freedom! God offers us freedom. It may not come through the visit of three spirits taking us through time to show us what needs to change, but it comes when we are tired enough of the way we are living. God shows up when we put on our spiritual sneakers and decide to go outside and face the world. God moves in our lives when we fearlessly face those issues that have kept us in shackles. He gives us the courage to walk away from people and relationships that represent those chains. Even though God was showing us the poison in these relationships, we held on, thinking we knew best.

Alive and Free!
I don't know if you're pulling chains around today. Despair, frustration, anger, bitterness, hurts, resentment, shame, and so many things that represent each dark, heavy and hurtful link are keeping you down. If you find yourself like Jacob Marley, like me, recognizing that we've allowed these things to bind us, there's one difference between Jacob Marley and us. He was hopeless and dead in the story but we're alive and with a great future ahead. We still have the opportunity to walk in the freedom God offers. Many times chains represent sin. For right now, I want you to see the chains as emotional and mental hindrances that we carry around so we never know full freedom in Christ. Identify those chains and break free today! Our emotions and minds in God's hands.

I've seen and carried the emotional baggage long enough. Today I laid them all down at the foot of the cross. It's a new day for me. Hope has sprung and I'm in expectation. Will you lay every burden down as well? Those chains only serve to bind you and keep you from freedom in the Lord. Shake them off and praise the Lord. God has great things for you and I. I pray you will be able to be like Scrooge, and have a change of heart. 

 You Tube Video ~ Mary, Mary "Shackles"

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