I admit it, when I saw the song list for Sunday I was disappointed. Most of the songs were right on (in my opinion) except the last one…the one I have sung over and over and over again. I remember thinking, “I am so over this song.” I’ve actually even written a blog about this song before. Ironic, huh?
So, what’s the song? Got you curious, haven’t I? Don’t gasp too loudly, but it’s “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”. I know, it’s a great song. It’s even brought traditional churches to tears, but I’ve just heard it one too many times…or, so I thought.
As I was practicing said song, God reminded me that I may know all the words, but I still wasn’t living chain free. He reminded me that I sometimes still wear shackles that He broke off of me many years ago. He knew I needed the reminder because He knew that I had replaced the freedom that His very Son gave me with panic, fear and dread this very week. He knew I was vulnerable to the Enemy’s attacks and that a few fiery darts had hit their mark. He knew I needed to be reminded that my chains truly are gone.
Galatians 5:1 teaches us that, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
Why did Christ set me free? Was it so I could do good works? Was it because I’m this awesome person who deserves freedom? No. Christ set me free so that I could live in freedom. That’s it. That’s the only reason. His great love, His amazing grace, His mercy that is new every morning, just wants me to be free.
If I received a letter in my mailbox this week that my mortgage was paid off, how many more payments do you think I would make? You guessed it…none. I would be completely free from that debt. Christ is telling us in Galatians that our mortgage, our debt, is gone for all time, yet we find ourselves still making payments.
Spiritually speaking, I still think I need to make a payment to stay free. That’s kind of nuts, isn’t it? But, it’s often how I live. The chains that Christ broke off of me still entice me. My mind thinks it’s better to have a freak out than to rest in Him. My brain thinks watching Netflix will be better to fall asleep to than reading His Word and praying for others as I drift off into oblivion. My body thinks that depending on comfort food instead of drawing on His strength will somehow make things better.
At times, I’m still choosing shackles instead of freedom. I may be sick of the song, but the message still needs to be heard.
…”My chains are gone. I’ve been set free…”
So, as I sing this song that I’ve heard over and over again this Sunday, I pray that it truly is a testimony of my life…not just in that moment, but when I go home as well. I pray that I’m not thinking “When is this going to be over?”, but I will truly give God glory for setting me free. I pray that the next time you see me all you see are wrists that are shackle free, ankles that are unfettered and gratefulness oozing out of every pore for the One who sets us all free.
** picture by Getty images