“Remove the chains of slavery from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” Isaiah 52:2 (NLT)
Individuals who are truly captive lack the ability to remove their constraints. In many cases, their arms, legs, feet, and hands are bound. However, in this scripture God calls His captive daughter to remove the chains of slavery from her neck. This statement leads me to believe that we may experience oppression due to a form of self-imprisonment. We possess the means to free ourselves, but we allow the chains of oppression to linger even after our Father has delivered us.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Long ago my people chose to live in Egypt. Now they are oppressed by Assyria. What is this? Asks the Lord. Why are my people enslaved again?” Isaiah 52:4 (NLT)
I feel like God is saying:
“Ashley…a while back you chose things that kept you in bondage. I delivered you. I freed you. But, somehow you’re STILL oppressed. What’s up with that? Why are you enslaved again?”
We allow ourselves to be enslaved again through our thoughts and over-active imagination. While we may not be actively engaged in that relationship, behavior, or vice that God has delivered us from; our minds tend to revisit and linger in these areas. We imagine, ponder, predict, analyze, reason, and wrestle with our thoughts on a daily basis. This battle is a form of imprisonment. This battle is a form of enslavement…self-inflicted enslavement. We must choose to renew our mind daily through God’s word so we don’t fall back into the same chains from which we’ve been delivered.
Why are you enslaved again?
God has freed you. He has delivered you. Take responsibility for your continued deliverance and monitor your thoughts. Stop tormenting yourself. Stop breaking your own heart. Be kind to yourself. Do as much for yourself as you are so willing to do for others. Listen to yourself. Stop silencing the Holy Spirit. Create and enforce boundaries. Handle yourself with care. But, above all else…remove the chains. Stop allowing yourself to be held captive. You are free in Christ and you have a responsibility to maintain that freedom.
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. Ashley serves as the Residential Listing Partner for Team Harris Real Estate. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: “Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light.”