Each of us have moments we feel trapped. Sometimes it has nothing to do with what we have done. Rather, at times our entrapment has to do with what others have done to us. How do we respond? Do we lose our cool? Do we lash out?
Or do we worship?
Paul and Silas were mobbed, stripped, beaten, and put into prison. A punishment so severe must have been the result of a tremendous infraction against a fellow person, right? Actually, in Acts 16 we see that they were doing good! They had healed a woman possessed by a demon. Unfortunately for them, she was a slave and her masters liked her the way she was. She and her demon had been making them a lot of money. (Side nugget: Sometimes what you know to be right is not what the world around you says is right.)
The result of Paul & Silas' miraculous work? A beating and a trip to the stockades in the prison. It's their response which gives us encouragement. What did they do? They worshiped. They prayed and sang songs of praise to God. They prayed and sang! When bad times fall on you are you ready to pray? When you feel trapped in life are you ready to sing? What a great reminder they had given themselves in their worship: God is in control. Praying and singing God's praise reminds us that we are not our own. We belong to him. Worship reminds us he has already won and he is in control.
What was the result of Paul and Silas' worship? What was the result of their surrendering to God's sovereignty? Freedom. Acts 16:26 tells us that while they were singing there was a great earthquake which shook the prison to its foundations. Every door in the prison flew open and every chain fell to the floor. Freedom.
Worship won this war for Paul and Silas. It brought them freedom. But let's be clear. Paul and Silas were not new to their prayer and praise. No. It was a part of their everyday life. They were free when they healed the woman. They were free when they were beaten. They were free when they were thrown into prison. They were free when their feet were placed in the stocks. They were free when they sat in the dark, cold, damp, odor-filled cell and worshiped. They were already free. And regardless if God chose to release them from that prison or not, they would always be free.
Like Paul & Silas, as believers let your daily worship remind you of the freedom you already have in Christ. And when you do enter into a war in life you will be ready. You will remember your freedom, which came from God, who you will pray to and praise. And as a result he will continue giving you freedom.
worship Him 24/7...