When you read this title, some of you instantly thought of the song “Take The Shackles Off’ by Mary Mary.
Classic, right? Plus, the lyrics tell a powerful message.
Take the shackles off.
Life appears differently for everyone. And shackles in our life complicates things. It comes in many forms. We have the shackles who hold the people who are incarcerated. We have the shackles that hold us back physically. We have shackles that hold us back mentally. We also have shackles that hold us back spiritually.
Growing up, I remember visiting my dad in jail not fully understanding or grasping the idea of being confined to a cell and having to follow rules everyday. My first visit was when I was six years old. My dad’s shackles were based on him making poor choices that caused his shackles to be physical and also mental.
We all make choices. Everyday. Some are good and some are bad. We also have the shackles that we didn’t have any control over, such as the ones we were born with or the ones that attacked us. We also have those shackles that have become a second nature, doing things and not thinking twice about it.
If you have physical shackles that feels like a permanent halt in your life, it’s normal to feel defeated or hopeless at time…but don’t stay in that place. One thing I’ve learned over the years are “the words you tell yourself eventually come true”. Be careful of how you speak over yourself. Your own opinion and the way you view yourself can turn into poison if you’re allowing everything negative define you as a person. Thinking of yourself as a person of value rather than a person who feels defeated changes your light and your language which changes your perspective. And a different perspective always brings change.
Shackles also get dirty and personal hitting us like a freight train. It can come in guilt, shame, addictions, adversity, self-sabotage, depression, being stagnant, failures, and lack of faith. You feel dead sometimes, like a robot doing the same unhappy routine everyday.
On my current trip in Dallas, I started reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer…a powerful book that shows you the fire in prayer and why it’s vital to do it. In one strategy, Shirer spoke about living right now :
“God is the God of right now. He doesn’t want you sitting around regretting yesterday. Nor does he want you wringing your hands and worrying about the future. He wants you focusing on what he is saying to you and putting in front of you…right now.”
I used to a yesterday kinda person…hiding behind insecurities and doubts, based on my choices in life and the cards I was dealt. Then I started speaking differently for myself and that’s when I saw the change in me. I was living in my purpose.
We are all born with purity, a gift from God that we often take for granted. Weapons do come, but we also throw our own dose of chaos, creating us in situations by choices we wish we could take back. But we can’t…and that’s okay. Stop allowing the old you the room to bring up your past. When the past tries to call me back or stoop me down to that level, I read Psalm 91: 7-9 which reads, “A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you…For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. “
Find that place to remove the shackles in your life. If you can’t move a certain shackle in this season, that doesn’t mean you lose hope.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:27)
“For I know the plans that I have for you, “ declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)
If you’re dealing with mental shackles, please find a way to overcome them, even if therapy is the route it takes. It doesn’t make you weak, but wanting help is a sign of strength. Some of the best people I know had to take therapy at one point in their lives and they all say it was one of the best decisions they made.
Most importantly, pray.
Never stop praying. Prayer is a deep, personal conversation between you and God which means it’s sacred. All shackles can be broken no matter what the picture may look like now.
Prayer brings changes.
Actions bring fire.
More works of faith brings out the fire in you.
And fervent prayer with God breaks ALL shackles.
Until next time,