Is there a part of your life in which you still feel bound or restricted?
An area where you know you’re not completely free?
At times, does it feel like a chain around your neck?
No matter how long you and I have been followers of Jesus Christ, there are parts of our lives that still need to be cleaned up and cleaned out.
It’s not abnormal — we are fallible human beings. In His continuing work in us, Jesus regularly addresses our needy areas and sets us free. Truth be told, He is the only One who can break those chains.
A Favorite Phrase
Without question, my favorite Christmas song is “O Holy Night.”
So many of its lyrics inspire me and lift my spirit whenever I hear them.
“It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.”
“A thrill of hope — the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”
“Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices.”
Verse 3 of this great song, however, contains one declaration that always thrills me:
“Chains shall He break”
— the phrase that inspired me to write this letter.
Chains that Remain
As you and I have followed Jesus Christ in obedience over the years, we have seen many types of chains fall from our lives.
Thankfully, we are very different people than we were even a few years ago — all due to the marvelous redemptive work of Jesus in our lives.
But let’s admit it. You and I have nooks and crannies in which there is still a degree of bondage — places where we still need to be free.
It may be an unwanted habit or some type of addictive behavior. Perhaps it is an ongoing battle with depression, bitterness, or anger. Maybe it is a remnant of some past prejudices or bigotries from our upbringing.
Can Jesus bring us into freedom? Like the song says, “Chains shall He break.”
The Messiah’s Work
From the very beginning of His ministry on earth, Jesus made it clear that one of His objectives would be to bring freedom where it was desperately needed.
When He stood up at the synagogue in Nazareth (see Luke 4:16–30), Jesus read from the Messianic passage at the beginning of Isaiah 61:
“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.”
Liberty to those who are held captive! Release to prisoners who are bound!
As you read those prophetic promises, do you hear the unmistakable sound of chains being shattered?
The same theme appears in other Messianic passages. Psalm 72:14a says:
“He will redeem their life [the poor and needy] from oppression and violence.”
Here is the work of the Messiah described in Isaiah 49:9:
“That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth!’”
Isaiah 51:14a NASB says:
“The exile [the one in chains] will soon be set free, and will not die in the dungeon.”
Don’t you want to claim that promise for yourself?
Our Part in the Process
There is one more passage I want to share from Isaiah. It not only echoes this theme, but also carries the implication that we have a role to play in the process of breaking our chains.
We are meant to be partners with the LORD in the release He promises to bring us.
The first two verses of Isaiah 52 NASB are a call to the people of God to stir themselves — to get free from chains that have bound them.
Here are some of the phrases we see in this passage:
“Clothe yourself in your strength;”
“Shake yourself from the dust;”
“Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.”
Do these words stir your heart to take action in your own life?
Promises of Release
In a teaching on Queen Esther called “The Queen Meets the Challenge,” Derek Prince uses this very passage to make it clear why you and I need to cooperate in this process.
We who are in the ministry must produce a Church that can act like a queen, going beyond the second curtain, sharing the throne, and taking authority.
The Church must do it — not just individual ministries.
We see this in the first two verses of Isaiah 52:
“Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments…shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; loose yourself from the chains around your neck….”
Those words apply to the Church at this time. I believe the Church has groveled in the dust; she has been a captive; she has worn chains.
The Holy Spirit, through the Scriptures, says, “Get out of the dust. Shake it off. Put on your royal garments and remember you are a queen. The King is waiting for you.”
No one ever went into the king’s gate in sackcloth. But when Esther dressed like a queen, she had access to the king.
When the king saw his queen, she won his heart. He stretched out the scepter and said, “Help yourself. All I have is at your disposal.”
That is how the Church will culminate this age.
Do you see why we need to walk in an increased measure of freedom in Him?
As He breaks off the chains, with our cooperation in the process, we are better able to serve Him more effectively. Let’s tell the LORD right now that this is what we want:
Jesus, I proclaim You as the One who breaks every chain.
I know there are still places in my life where I am bound, and I confess them to You.
Please break off these chains that are holding me.
I also know there are some areas I’m not even aware of, but You know what they are, and You can bring freedom there as well.
Lord Jesus, I ask You now to break any bonds that bind me and restrict me.
Loose me from the chains that hold me back from following You in complete obedience and surrender.
In Your name, I rise up now, pulling the chains from around my neck.
By Your power, Lord Jesus, I loose myself from them. Amen!
A Progressive Work
What we have just done represents a great day of release for you and me.
Please don’t feel the least hint of shame about this prayer to break chains on your life. It’s all part of depending upon Jesus to continue His work as He moves us into greater freedom in Him.
We want to help in that process. One of the best ways we can do so is by offering the rich heritage of Derek Prince’s teaching materials for you to access.
Please feel free to download or listen here, the message from which we took Derek’s quote. It is yours; just use the link below.
Thank you for staying connected with us in the work of Derek Prince Ministries worldwide.
Your concern, your prayers, and your financial generosity are the gas that makes this engine go!
We are honored that you have chosen to link arms with us in this ministry.
A Glorious Season
As the current year draws to a close and we celebrate “our dear Savior’s birth,” it is an especially significant moment.
The new-found freedom you and I have initiated with our prayer, partnering with the LORD in breaking some of the bondages in our lives, is the beginning of a new season.
We trust that as 2018 ends and 2019 begins, you will experience “the thrill of hope” as the coming year ushers in a “new and glorious morn” for you.
The process we have begun with this letter is one you may need to continue in the year ahead.
Rarely do you and I experience a once-for-all renewal in a single moment. More often, the action has to be repeated each time another shackle comes to light.
At such times, please remember the title of this month’s letter. Whenever you become aware of a lingering bondage, declare this phrase with confidence:
“Chains shall He break!”
All the best,
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.