Only God…Can Break My Chains
weekend in review
In week four of our Only God series, we look at chains: anything that has a firm grip on a person’s life, that keeps you stuck, that keeps you from experiencing godly freedom. Mike’s list includes a little something for everyone: bondage to fear, paralyzing insecurity, shame or guilt; misplaced perfectionism; unhealthy codependency; deep-seated anger, bitterness, or resentment that has you locked up; addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling; an eating disorder; addiction to porn or a sexual addiction; self-harm; and so forth. What the Bible calls “strongholds” are unhealthy things that dominate your thoughts, behavior, and relationships, keeping you chained up. Jesus is the chain breaker.
Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like, but here are potential questions to get the conversation going.
How do you define freedom?
In what areas of life do people look for, hope for, or expect freedom?
Select 5-6 questions from the list below to guide your discussion time.
Read Romans 7:15-20. What do you think Paul meant when he said that nothing good lives in his flesh? Why didn’t he have the ability within himself to do the good he wanted to?
Share a time you found yourself in what Mike described as “a spin cycle of doing what I don’t want to do.”
Read Isaiah 61:10. Mike’s friend Scott Nickel said, “There is nothing that could be uncovered about you that cannot be covered by the grace of Jesus.” Have you ever felt you were too far gone or too bad a person for Jesus to break your chains? How were you able to move forward?
How do you typically seek change in your life? When you’ve realized the need for freedom in an area of your life, what did you do about it?
Mike shared the BREATHE acrostic. Whether you are in need of recovery or working through a difficult situation, this can help you. Read over and share which step is the toughest for you.
Blessed are the broken
Ready to surrender
Evaluate my life with fearless honestly
THink a whole new way
Encourage others with my story and ever-changing life
Read Mark 5:19. Why didn’t Jesus let this man come with him? When is the last time God did something in your life that made you feel like the man in this story?
How do you think the Lord wants to bring you to freedom in your life right now? What do you need to do to respond to him?
How does this story encourage or challenge you in your present circumstances? What does it reveal about your heavenly Father’s ability to help you with your problems?
Have you ever told your family and closest friends how much the Lord has done for you, as did the healed man at the end of this story? If so, what happened? If not, what prevented you?
WRAP UP & PRAYER
Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each other.
Lecrae says, “If we can be honest about our scars, we can show other people that wounds can heal.” Who can you encourage this week?
This week think about a current challenge you are facing. Take a few minutes to work through the BREATHE acrostic, writing down how you can apply it.
Spend time one day meditating on Philippians 4:8. Ask God to show you how to fill your mind with these things. Then pray, thanking God for all the good things in your life. Be specific.
Take a few moments to share prayer requests and pray for one another.
Praise God for the work of Christ and his healing which brings freedom. Thank God for the changes that he has brought to our lives as believers. Ask God to show you how you can use your personal stories of how God has freed you to share and encourage others.