“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose.” Acts 16:25-26
Everyone’s chains broke loose indeed! Paul and Silas were joyfully worshipping and as the prisoners listened eagerly, their chains were also mightily broken loose! Do you suppose these captives had ever heard such sounds in that all-encompassing darkness? Have we graciously discerned how powerful an effect our behaviors can have on others? Sometimes we are attentive to our impact on God’s loved ones but there are times when we are unaware of just who is watching or listening. Are you joyfully speaking/singing the sweet praises of the Lord often enough so someone in their own place of darkness might have a chance to eagerly overhear?
Paul and Silas were physically imprisoned but they would not allow themselves to be mentally and spiritually imprisoned! Indeed they suffered a physical hardship but they were resolved to not let it affect their mind and spirit ~ they chose to remain mentally and spiritually free! If we find ourselves in a restricted life (either by circumstances or by the result of our own decisions) we should be determined to not let it have the power to hinder our ability to worship God. Paul and Silas were able to see beyond their circumstances and grasp the more significant reality that God was bigger and He would, therefore, remain the object of their focus. A Christian’s source of happiness is found within. External circumstances cannot destroy our true peace and joy. Are you choosing to look beyond your momentary light affliction and determine to aim your attention instead on what is unseen?
Sometimes we allow ourselves to yield to regretful memories and we must then quickly speak the Truth we know to ourselves in order to dislodge the pest before it becomes an interference. Let’s follow the example of Paul and Silas and allow them to teach us how to not allow our circumstances to imprison our minds and hearts; nothing could constrain their devotion and nothing should be able to constrain ours either. Who can put a value on the divinity of Christ? His ways fit like a glove in all arenas, He supports us in all trials, He inspires our souls continually to put our confidence in God, and He stirs our hearts to speak of Him in thanksgiving and song. We must believe that God has only good for us even when our senses try to see despair as the only fitting response. Let’s be brave warriors of God and pray and sing in the face of adversity which is absolutely contrary to our selfish flesh. Amen! May God receive all the glory as we are able to do such things by His Spirit alone!
Let’s show ourselves and the world where our allegiance lies; it is not with the flesh, not with man, and not with this world system. God is altogether worthy of our outright faith and praise.
Someone recently told me (speaking of a person in a self-defense class) that in order for a person to defend them self they must first feel worthy. Believer, the Lord has proven your worth to Him by ransoming your life from the chains of the devil. You are considered His inheritance. He is the King and you are His treasure. You are most diffidently worthy. That, my friend, sounds like something worth praising/singing about.
How will you respond?
∞ When you have powerless thoughts, immediately reject Satan’s lies. Verbally respond by saying, “Get away from me Satan. You have no place in my redeemed life. I am in Christ and Christ is in me. I am no longer enslaved to defeat.” Inspire yourself to smile when you feel your emotions suggesting you have no reason to. Encourage yourself to pray and praise with a heart bursting with Thanksgiving when your senses suggest your defeated. Your defeat is a lie; choose to see the Truth instead. The Truth is absolutely, all encompassing, completely overwhelming… JOYFUL! When the hour is dark speak praise and thanksgiving to your Deliverer and Redeemer.
∞ Write today’s Scripture verse on a 3×5 card and 1) Commit it to memory, 2) Believe it, 3) Repeat it often. There is power is repeating God’s word!
In His grace,