MY CHAINS ARE GONE!!
On September 22, 2008, I was a platform speaker on a Bill Glass Day of Champions in Meridian, Mississippi. That day I spoke in many different units—not as many as one of the platform guests who spoke eleven times—but it was a great day. Talk about a lot of work! But that is what being a green beret for the Lord is all about. At day’s end, we had over three-hundred-and-fifty decisions for Jesus. Praise the Lord!
On Sunday the 23rd, I was asked to speak in a church in Jackson, Mississippi. At the conclusion of the worship service we sang Amazing Grace. I love that song because I was the wretch it is talking about. It was His amazing grace that saved me. I’ve sung Amazing Grace in many different ways and styles over the decades, but I had never heard it like we sang it that day. One verse said, ‘my chains are gone; I’ve been set free’. It was one of those moments when God touches you and you are undone. I realized my chains were really gone and that revelation had an incredible impact on what I said. The following is an excerpt from what the Lord had me share with that church in Jackson.
In 1963, I escaped from a military prison in Millington, Tennessee. After a few days on the run, I was arrested in the little town of Leland, Mississippi. After a few days in that jail, I was transferred to Clarksdale and finally to Oxford where I would stay for several months awaiting trial on the federal charges I had picked up while on the run. This was the beginning of a serious criminal career that would last for over twenty years. I have ridden over 2500 miles in leg irons, handcuffs, and waist chains, and have been locked up in ten different states. So, I know a little bit about chains. The last time I was arrested and put in chains was September 5, 1982. On April 15, 1983, I said, ‘God if You are real and can change me, I will live my life for You’. Praise the Lord, that was thirty-seven glorious years ago. At that point I broke down and wept. The chains are truly gone.
It’s sad to say that there are people who have never been in handcuffs or leg irons, yet they are wearing chains of some sort just the same. Jesus wants to set you free and take those chains away. Just ask Him to take control of your life and then don’t ever take it back. If you have never asked Him to take control, I invite you to do so right now. Just talk to Him like you would one of your friends. He wants to be your very best friend.
God bless you, and keep you, and make His face to shine upon you.
II Corinthians 5:17