Being an animal lover, I was appalled by the title of a Youtube video that recently appeared on my Facebook wall: “Dog Chained Up For 10 Years”. I was in tears as the story unfolded. Tears of anger at the owner of this poor dog, chained up under a porch in Phoenix Arizona, where the temperatures in the summer can reach 120 F (50 C); Tears of compassion for the dog, covered with tumors and flies; and Tears of joy when this same dog was freed, given a bath, medical care, and placed in a new home where there were no longer any chains.
The story stayed with me, and it wasn’t until a couple of days later that I finally heard God’s voice speaking to me over my own emotions: “Now you know how I feel.”
I stopped in my tracks. Yes. Of course. This was how God feels when He sees the crown of all His creation, mankind, chained, enslaved, imprisoned to the lies of the devil. He sees us bound to our addictions, shackled to our insecurities, fettered to our illnesses, rendered powerless by our devotion to our false gods. And His heart aches with the desire to set us free.
The good news is, God has already set us free: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1)
Notice, friends, that this text is written in past tense! It doesn’t say He “will” set us free. It doesn’t say He “would love to” set us free. It says, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free”! That means it’s already said and done! We are free!
And this is the glory of the Easter message. When Jesus went to that cross, He overcame sin, darkness, chains, everything. Consider the following text: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” (Isaiah 61:1)
But wait. If we are already set free, then why are we still living in our addictions, our fears, our pain? Why are we still chained to our false gods? Ensnared by our human natures? Bound to our insecurities?
Remember, the devil likes to lie to us (“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” John 8:44), and for some unknown reason, it is easier to believe the devil’s lies than it is to believe the Truth of God’s Word. It is easier to believe in what we “see” than in what we read. It is easier to walk by sight and not by faith.
Like that poor dog, do you feel chained up? Left to your own resources by the addictions, the sicknesses, the circumstances? The good news is, you have already been set free (See Gal 5:1!). Yes, you still see the chain, but God asks us to walk by faith, not by sight (See 2 Cor. 5:7). He asks us to see that the chain no longer has any power over you, that we can simply shake it off. Why? Because when Jesus died and rose from the dead, He has already set you free!
So why, if God has already loosed our chains, is He sad? Because we do not walk in the freedom that Christ died on the cross to give to us.
This Easter season, let’s not make Jesus’ sacrifice in vain. Let’s resolve to walk in the liberty that Jesus died to give us. Let’s put off our chains!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.