Tuesday, September 15, 2015

God Doesn't Free Us so We Can Hide

The dank scent of the prison filled and choked his lungs with each breath. He was trying desperately not to gag at the smell of urine mixed with mildew. He was failing.

Peter could hardly see in the dark cell. Matthew and John had been shoved into the same cell as him. The other apostles were strewed about in the prison, but he could only hear their prayers and snores bouncing off the walls. He rubbed his face. He just wanted to get out of here and go home to his family were it was safe.

Suddenly the prison door crashed into the stone walls, and their doors to their cells swung open. A majestic being in brilliant white robes that lit up the whole prison stood in the doorway of the prison. Peter took a tentative step towards the door of his cell. The other apostles flooded the doorways to their cells, but no one dared moved towards the angel of the Lord. He stood blocking the exit as if waiting until he had their full attention.

"Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life." With that, he turned and disappeared through the doorway.

Peter swallowed the lump in his throat. He wanted to go home. Truthfully, even more then that, there was a part of him that wanted to hide. He wanted to lay low for once instead of constantly dealing with threats.

But to run away and hide wouldn't be putting his trust in God. Peter had learned that was more dangerous then anything.

Glancing around the room, he could tell the others felt the same way. However, God had given then a task. An order. A battle to fight. So they would go into that temple and do what God had asked.

Regardless of the outcome.

Based on Acts 5:17-21

"But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 'Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.' And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach." Acts 5:17-21

I'm a wimp. I'm just going to get that right out there. I'm a chicken. If I had been thrown in prison, and God miraculously saved me, my next, immediate course of action would be to run and hide. Get away from the bad guys! That's me.

But that wasn't what God wanted. He told the apostles to go into the temple and preach to the people. So at daybreak they went into the temple and taught the people. They didn't even try to hide in there. They even ended up getting arrested again.

God doesn't free us so that we can go hide.

"The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe." Proverbs 29:25

Despite the fact that they were in prison in the first place, and then imprisoned again, they were safe because they were trusting in God. They didn't hide. They didn't give into fear. What they did wasn't natural. It was supernatural.

God doesn't free us so that we can go hide. He frees us so that we can fight some more.

V. Joy Palmer

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