Sometimes insecurity, shame, and fear shackle us down in despair. Weighing down our arms like lead so that we cannot lift them to praise our Savior. Restraining our feet from stepping forward to live a life of freedom and devotion to our God. Molding our necks into a downward thrust that we fail to lift our eyes to see the goodness God surrounds us with.
In Christ Jesus and His sacrifice for us, He has already unlocked all these shackles. So why do we so often bind ourselves up again? Why do we refuse His powerful love? Why do we avoid Jesus’ proffered hand and refuse His key to freedom?
Sometimes we long to reach out for that key He has promised us, but insecurity, shame, and fear have such deep roots in our hearts. Jesus longs for us to lay our chained-up hearts at His feet. To believe in His power to shatter the shackles. He lifts our bruised and bleeding bodies and hearts and hugs us to Himself, saying, “My child, I understand what you’re going through. Grasp hold of this truth – I love you and want to free you completely. Believe that you are precious to Me and you will always be safe and enough in Me.”
Jesus has such inexpressible patience with us. His love is so unconditional, and His grace is so freely given. As a testimony of who He is and what He has done for us, I feel a need to write. I confess that sometimes the words don’t always flow freely like I hear many writers experience. I feel inadequate, I fear rejection, and it hurts too much to write transparently. Yet I feel His nudge to answer the whispers He places in my heart. He won’t let me go. He mows down all my excuses with His faithful promises, “My child, have I not promised I will never, never leave you or forsake you? Have I not promised that you can do all things through Me? Trust Me, My child. My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” (Deut. 31:6, 2 Cor. 12:9)
“But He has said to me,
‘My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy
are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation];
for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself
most effectively] in [your] weakness.’ Therefore,
I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ
[may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP
Sometimes when we’re in despair, we can’t see how God has helped us through so much. When the chains of insecurity, shame, and fear are deadweight in our lives, we can feel like He has totally forsaken us. We can feel so worthless that we can’t imagine Him even wanting to think of us. At those times, we are blind to our true identity in Him, the power of His love that has brought us through many deep valleys, and the promise that He will always be with us. We forget that every breath we take is Him breathing life into us.
The powerful love of Jesus will always be stronger than any shackle that binds us. God’s power parted the Red Sea and freed the Israelites from slavery. His power rose Jesus from the dead. His power can reach into our shackled hearts, too. He is powerful to burst the chains asunder that hold us back from joy in Him. Powerful to break all barriers that inhibit us from living a life in the fullness of the freedom there is to be found in Jesus. Powerful to “strengthen our weak hands and steady our knees that give way” (Isaiah 35:3), to give us a dance of victory that echoes praises to His Name.
“Shackles [Praise You]”
by Mary Mary
“Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise You
I just wanna praise You
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise You
I’m gonna praise You”