Let the Chains Fall Away

Posted: March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

This passed weekend was the Tulsa Workshop. It is always the highlight of my year. I always leave challenged and refreshed. I love to walk around the booths and see what ministries and missions there are around the world. I love to see old friends and catch up with what is going on in their lives. I especially love to attend the classes and hear great men of faith pour out God’s truth in a challenging and inspiring way.

This year’s theme was “Let the Chains Fall Away.” What a powerful message. So many chains seem to bind us as Christians. We are held in bondage by our traditions, our pride, our inferiority, our hypocrisy, our view of God, and the list could go on and on. Although I love the workshop and enjoyed each nights worship and keynote session, I have to confess that I was often distracted. I often find myself distracted. My mind wanders a thousand different directions and I find myself having to constantly refocus my thoughts. Friday night was one of those nights that I found myself distracted. I had spent the day at the workshop. Just Joshua and I went during the day and he was in child care. I was free to attend the classes and I loved it. I had the car and I knew Kellie and the boys wanted to come to the workshop for the night session. I left at 4:00 to get Kellie, Andrew, and Timothy. It took over an hour to get from Tulsa to Muskogee because of construction. We were hoping to make it to the Acappella concert at 6:00 before the evening worship at 7:00. Well, we didn’t make it until close to 6:40. We rushed inside and caught the last few songs. I was frustrated that it took so long to get back to Tulsa. I was distracted by all the kids running around throwing balls and toy cars while I was trying to get into the mode of praise and worship. It is then that I noticed him. A few rows away sat a young man who was obviously “intellectually delayed.” While everyone around him seemed to have a distracted look on their face because of the noise around them, this young man stood with his arms raised in the air, tears in his eyes, singing to his Lord. He was not held prisoner by the circumstances around him, he was just praising. We had a short break between the concert and the evening session, so we took the boys to their class and Kellie and I came back into the pavilion. We sat in a different area this time, but I could still see this young man. He had his arms raised in the air and I could see the emotion and gratitude in his demeanor as he worshiped. In that moment when my mind was racing and I was still watching the kids throw their toys and wondering why their parents were  not doing anything to stop them, that God began to work on my heart. It was though He was saying, “See that guy right there? That is how I want you to live.” God wants me  (and you) to live life free of the chains. The chains of pride, the chains of undiscipline, the chains a lukewarm life. God wants me to be free. Regardless of my surroundings, He is calling me to give Him the worship He is worthy of. When all the world want to distract me, He wants me to focus completely on Him. When the noise of this earthly life is loud, God offers me complete peace in Him.

I thanked God for His freedom. I thanked him for that young  man God used to teach me. I am thankful for freedom in Christ. It is true freedom. Eternal freedom. this life on earth is but a vapor and if all freedoms were taken away, I can still have true freedom in Christ. It is a choice. Following God is a choice. Will I choose to follow Him and experience His freedom? … or am I content to live in chains because that is my comfort zone? What about you? What choice will you make? Will you allow the world to distract you and keep you chained … or will you choose to completely surrender to Christ and be free?

“If the Son set you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

  1. joann Blankenship says:

    Daniel what a lovely story. So true . I myself am often distracted by my surroundings at church. I have to ask God to help me focus. Sometimes i even feel like dancing and as you know a Church of Christ girl would never do that.It has taken me a very long time to not care what everyone else around me is doing. I lift my hands in full surrender to my God. I praise him sometimes out loud. I believe
    God uses others to teach us. A mentally handicapped person has so much freedom. They dont care what someone else thinks. God is looking down on them and saying your praise is so beautiful to me. If only we could be like that in our worship to our Lord then we could truly experience the chains being broken.

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