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Friday, September 4, 2009

Looking Beyond Captivity

Suddenly there was 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 16:26

Paul selected Timothy to help evangelize Europe. Lydia and her household were converted. Paul and Silas drove out a “spirit of prediction” from a slave girl. The owners of the girl become angry because their profits were taken away and they caused a commotion with the authorities. Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten, thrown in jail, and secured in stocks under heavy guard.

While they prayed and sang hymns, their chains came loose.

They remained in the jail to offer solace to the jailer who threatened to kill himself because he thought Paul and Silas had escaped. The jailer was saved with his entire household.

Paul and Silas refused to be released secretly. The Magistrate offered an official apology and sent a public escort. Paul and Silas dropped by Lydia’s house, offered encouragement and left the city.

Paul and Silas chose to remain for a short time within their place of captivity. This opened doors for greater opportunity.

I've experienced captivity in many different forms. When healing and relief comes, my first response is to put distance between myself and the situation. I want to move away from the place of captivity and the memory - as if nothing ever happened!

How many opportunities have I missed to help somebody through the same situation? How many opportunities am I missing now?

Lord, grant us discernment to know when to go, when to stay, or when to return to our place of captivity. Give us the courage to be used as instruments for your opportunity.

4 comments:

Laure said...

as we learn more and more to make our hiding place in Him, taking up self protection will occur less and less ... i figure.

not that the desire won't be there

but our staying ... going ... returning will be because more and more ... in Him we live and move and have our being.

awesome, Yvette. simply.

Bill611 said...

This is the 3rd time in recent days that this story has come before my eyes... (Suppose I should pay attention??? I think so...)

Wow. Awesome insight. Spoke deeply and directly to me.

Thank you.

Robin said...

Yvette, this week I have not posted due to taking up the call to go forth into ministry of helping out where needed. I have a friend who is very ill, we spent yesterday morning in the cancer clinic. The amazing thing happened while there, God used me to speak life and hope into another as I sat waiting. It is truly amazing how God will use us when we are willing to enter into the opportunities before us. Thanks for sharing your insights. I am now in the Book of Acts also...I am trying to work through the NT two more times before Christmas. I am slow. Blessings to you...as you continue to dig deeply into his treasures.

Robin

Kilauea Poetry said...

When they prayed & sang..those chains came loose (looking to the unseen)- Our circumstances can feel and look pretty ugly..
but out of our circumstance/death- His life can then only breathe life.
Nice Yvette-