Broken Chains

Exodus 12:17 NIV
[17] “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.

Acts 12:1-4 NIV
[1] It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. [2] He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. [3] When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. [4] After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

Acts 16:25-26 NIV
[25] About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. [26] Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

I entitled this post “Broken Chains”  because as believers in Christ we are currently in a season of broken chains.  What once held you captive no longer does.  Where you once thought there was no life or hope you now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  There are always transition periods in life and we are in one.  Whatever you face, God has now broken you free from stagnation and you can now move freely.  It is up to us to now get into a mindset that is conducive to forward movement.   In order to get into a mindset of freedom we need to spend time reading and ruminating on the word of God daily.  Also spending time in prayer daily is very important.  Prayer is your communication with God and what good is a relationship without communication.  If we read the word of God we become more familiar with His characteristics and patterns. We will also become more familiar with the people who were facing very difficult times and how they responded to those challenges.

The chains of bondage are broken and a transition point comes.  I am going to reference Exodus 12 where Passover or the The Festival of Unleavened Bread is referenced, Peter’s miraculous release from prison (Acts 12) and Paul’s miraculous release from prison (Acts 16).

As I was thinking about what to write the Holy Spirit had me ask myself a few questions about these passages of scripture as I read them.

What is the significance of Passover?  What is the significance of Peter being imprisoned during Passover?  Also what does it mean when the passage says “about midnight” when Paul was praising in prison?

  • Passover (Festival of Unleavened Bread) is a remembrance of when the Lord passed over the homes of the Israelites who had covered their doorposts with lamb’s blood and their exodus from Egypt.  God gave them instruction “to commemorate”  that day for generations to come and that it would be a “lasting ordinance”.
  • Peter was imprisoned during Passover, during a feast that commemorated the release of captives, figuratively you could say breaking the chains of the prisoner.  He was miraculously released by an angel (even Christ, “Passover lamb,” was taken during Passover and God performed a miracle through His death and resurrection).
  • At about Midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing to God and then they were released from prison miraculously by an earthquake and brought people to the knowledge of Christ on the way out.

God used these particular times to show us a theme.  Passover represents a time of being passed over, and protected from harm in the midst of a trying situation.  It commemorates a miracle of being delivered into a new pattern or a transition.  Midnight is the transition from one day to another which also brings in a new pattern and the new mercies that come with a new day, “It is the of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning:  great is they faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).  Both situations illustrate bondage, but when God stepped in with something to break the pattern or form of bondage we have a revelation of who He is in our lives.  He has broken the chains of your life and given you a new way of moving forward in His protection, with His instruction.  Each time bringing you from glory to glory with each victory.  In each set back ( at least what seems like a setback) it’s a set up to see a deeper part of God and for Him to remind you of the great things He has done and will further do in your life.


The Manifesting Power Of God

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 KJV
[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. [9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Another Translation

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 MSG
[7-10] Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

God’s Power Is Made Perfect In Our Weakness!

Through our pain and at our lowest point God is more powerfully working in our lives and circumstances.  It is at these points in our lives that we are more open to His favor and grace manifesting.  This scripture isn’t saying that He is only powerful when we are weak, but that we allow Him more power, leeway, into the areas of deepest concern to us in our weakness.  If we did not have areas that were broken then He could never humble us and keep us vulnerable to His will and direction.  Not saying God wants to cripple you; He wants to be the glue that keeps you together, the scaffolding and foundation that keeps you walking firmly according to His Word.  He knows that we are dust and we need Him to keep us strong.  We were made to function in His kingdom, so how can we function properly without Him?  When we pray and believe that He is strong enough to help us achieve our best in our weak spots, we also need to know and believe that His strength is just what we need (sufficient) to propel us to the next level.  Take Him with you no matter what you face physically, spiritually, or emotionally.  God is able and He will do whatever is needed.

John 15:1-10 MSG
[1-3] “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. [4] “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. [5-8] “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. [9-10] “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.