Have you ever tried to walk while dragging a ball and chain behind you?
Chances are no one reading this has actually experienced the cumbersome weight of 18 pounds of iron on the end of a 35 inch chain attached to your ankle. Only prisoners wear those, right?
But if you are anything like me, you have probably tried to move through life shackled to some heavy loads.
I’ve been weighed down with the shame caused by my sin and failures.
I’ve been held back trying to earn my worthiness thinking I could be better on my own.
I’ve been confined by feelings of inadequacy when I compare myself to others and come up short.
I’ve been inhibited by thinking God needed me to point out the sin in others.
I’ve been encumbered by the sheer heaviness of evil in the world.
I’ve been held captive by my own health concerns and those of loved ones.
I’ve been immobilized by fear of the future.
While it may seem logical to be weighed down by these strains, even my successes and accomplishments can prevent me from being all God has designed me to be.
When I base my security on anything I can see, I risk being taken captive by the temporal.
It can be so difficult for us to move beyond the haze of feelings, dangers, failures, anguish, and sin swirling around us. Because every where we turn that’s what we face. Social media, prime time programming, movies, news broadcasts and sometimes even our own mirrors make it nearly impossible to escape.
This is where Satan seeks to keep us. When we are slowed down by the weight of worldly cares, he easily ensnares us and torments us with his lies. Some of his most lethal weapons are ideas – God will love us if we keep the law. We are capable of keeping the law if we just try hard enough. Our sin is too big to be forgiven. Faith equates to health and wealth. Difficult situations are spinning out of God’s control.
Do not permit him to heap these added burdens on you.
Exchange the ball and chain that keeps us imprisoned for the anchor of hope in Christ that sets us free.
Dear friends, no challenge is unique in today’s world. The original Christians were persecuted and sinned and feared for their futures, too. The book of Hebrews speaks to these Jews who had converted to Christianity and still had doubts, concerns and questions. The author encourages them to “lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith… (Hebrews 12:1-2)” He also reminds us to look to the “great cloud of witnesses” who overcame trials by their faith.
We cannot run the race of faith while shacked to a ball and chain.
But rather we should find encouragement from those around us who have overcome by their faith. When worldly heroes seem lacking, the bible is full of stories celebrating saints who triumphed. Noah. Abraham. Rahab. Naomi. David. Mary. Jesus.
Instead of being consumed by earthly troubles, we focus our gaze heavenward to Jesus. Faith in Him provides us with the secure hope that anchors us to our eternity spent in His presence (Hebrews 6:19). Our faith must stretch beyond what we can see or feel or even imagine.
No matter how heavy my ball and chain may feel, God’s promise of freedom in Christ remains true.
Once I have tasted the sweetness of freedom He offers, I will stand firm and not submit again to the burdens with which Satan seeks to enslave me. (Galatians 5:1)
Nothing of this world can hold me back when I am firmly anchored in the eternal.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for Jesus who frees me from this earthly home fraught with torment. Focus my gaze beyond the troubles of this world all the way to Him to bolster my faith. Help me to throw off any ball and chain that keeps me imprisoned in the temporal and fill me with the hope that anchors me to You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.”
(Hebrews 6:19, NIV)
“For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore,
and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
(Galatians 5:1, ESV)
Linking up today with Suzie Eller’s #livefreeThursdays.
Check out what everyone is saying about being anchored.