The God Who Breaks Every Chain
by Chrissy Hampson
October 20, 2020
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Sick again?! Another Sunday rolled around in Romania. Another day headed to the village to play the guitar in the unventilated, tiny church plant filled with old women and small children and a few inbetween. Another day waking up sick.
“Did you ever consider that your Sunday sicknesses might be spiritual? I mean, it’s every week! Don’t you think that’s weird?” my coworkers asked me that day. “Pray about it!”
No. No, I hadn’t considered that. I was 21 and hadn’t thought much about spiritual battles, not being raised in “that” kind of church. But, okay, I agreed to do so.
The following Sunday morning I awoke, not to sickness, but to oppression. Unable to move my limbs, my head, or to even cry out, I listened closely and fearfully as I felt the shuffling of something about the size of a rat creeping around my arms and legs pinned to the tiny twin bed. With one final hop and a plop, it scurried off and away, leaving me to pray until movement returned. It wasn’t long, and I knew then that, indeed, Sunday mornings had been a spiritual battle. Thus ended a long string of Sunday sicknesses.
The two years I spent in Romania, we watched in almost predictable humor (and compassion, of course) as team after team that came to help us with our evangelical camps ran into trouble after trouble before they arrived. The camps themselves nearly always “almost fell apart” for one reason or another. We knew when to start praying and to pray all the harder when everything went to pot because, if it was such a battle to be won by the enemy, surely God had greatness in store! Indeed, those words rang true. The harder things were to pull together, the more amazing the spiritual results.
And do you think we wanted to quit? Oh yeah! Sometimes. Thankfully, our spiritual eyes were opened enough to know to push, push, push and grow grit, but not quit.
I’ve carried those lessons with me throughout my life. Now, living in posh Orange County, the spiritual battle is not as palpable, but don’t think for a minute that it’s not happening. Every time I take a step forward in ministry, I watch warily to see what will come next, and we’ve had some whammies. And inevitably, weariness threatens. But, wait—is this unending weariness a ploy from the enemy to keep me down? It’s possible. The “smallest” of issues can be the greatest of tools in the hands of the enemy, because we might not detect it and then the victory is his!
So, be on guard. Don’t give up when life gets too hard. It could be that God has greater plans for you than you ever imagined. He is the God who truly does “break every chain,” and we can trust Him to do so in our lifelong battle “against the powers of this dark world.”
Chrissy continues to quarantine at home with the fam of one husband, one dog, one bird, and four kids. The house feels smaller than it once did, with everyone there all the time, but she is learning much through this unexpected crucible. Never did she desire or expect to homeschool a high school kid, but a pandemic convinced her to do it, and, amazingly, it has been a blessed season thus far with both the high school kid and the other three. God is good!