Have you seen the pictures of huge elephants held captive by a tiny stake and chain? Sometimes I wonder if we as believers are like those chained elephants. From my understanding, when elephants are first brought into captivity, they must be chained to a large tree or else they could pull themselves free. They have immense strength, yet over time, they stop trying to break free. Eventually, the elephants accept captivity remaining in place secured by a small stake and flimsy chain.
We feel the weight of chains in our lives whether from condemnation, guilt, a diagnosis, comparisons or utter hopelessness. We crumble under our own circumstances, feelings, self-centeredness or the opinions of others. We are locked in place by thinking, “I can’t stop doing that,” or “I’ll never get out of this place.”
Yet like the elephant, we perceive the chain is stronger than it really is or we minimize our enormous power. Our bondage is broken yet we don’t even try to live differently because we believe we are bound to this condition. Colossians 1: 14 describes how we are brought out of captivity because God, the Father, rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. We are not chained since Jesus frees us from the powers of darkness and establishes us into His marvelous kingdom of light. God’s indwelling Spirit empowers us to walk out of our prisons. Don’t allow the enemy of our souls to tell you differently. You have been set free! We do not have to live chained even if our circumstances or the other person never change. We are freed as God renews our mind to His perspective and enables us to appropriate His power and grace to live in His strength on the hardest days.
Although we are no longer chained, we are tethered. We are tethered to His grace and cannot outrun or escape it. His goodness and mercy are our constant companions whether we feel their presence or not. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6