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Keep Your Seat, This Ain't Your Deliverance
Series: Lessons Learned
Acts 12, Acts 16
Grab your Bible, and turn to Acts 12 and 16.
Lord, I pray you’d protect us and keep us from moving forward and making plans contrary to your will. Do not let us get away with making a plan for ourselves. Show us what attitudes and actions need to change in our lives and where we have areas of compromise.
We are actually going to do a little comparison between Acts 12 and Acts 16. I was shocked to find two very similar stories with two very different outcomes. Being a visual learner, I drew a line down the middle of my paper with two columns, Acts 12 and Acts 16. This may be helpful to you as well. If you see something different than me, record those things in your columns, and ask the Lord to speak to you about them.
Read Acts 12:6–11
Peter, who has been obedient and faithful to do what the Lord has asked, is telling others about Jesus. And Peter is thanked for doing such a great job by being beaten and thrown into prison.
In verse 6, Peter was sleeping. (Question: If you had been betrayed, lied about and hurt, would you be peacefully asleep?)
What about you? List here what your natural reaction would have been (be honest, don’t put down what you should do):
Peter was sleeping, unmoved by his circumstances and in a peaceful sleep.
Suddenly a bright light and an angel of the Lord appeared, Peter’s chains fell off, and the angel led him out of prison. It was Divine Intervention — Peter was free to leave and miraculously delivered.
Sometimes the Lord causes Divine Intervention to set us free from our dark, difficult, painful places and we get to leave.
Read Acts 16:16-34
Paul and Silas were doing work the Lord asked, helping and healing people, and they were “beaten severely.” They were not just thrown in jail, they were jailed in the inner dungeon with their feet clamped to stocks.
In verse 25, around midnight they were praying and singing hymns to God.
Don’t miss this: Acts 16: 25 tells us “the other prisoners were watching”.
Paul and Silas were worshiping — rejoicing no matter their circumstances.
Suddenly a great earthquake caused all the cell doors to fly open, and all the prisoners’ chains fell off. It was Divine Intervention — but Paul and Silas chose to stay and were not delivered.
When the earthquake occurred, scripture says all the doors flew open and all their chains fell off. If you were in prison praising and worshipping and an earthquake caused your chains to fall off, what might you assume? I’m free! God intervened, and I could leave my dark place of desperation and hurt.
But look again: The Bible say ...
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