Freedom Is Where We Belong
Day: 14 | Plan: Acts
Today's Reading: Acts 12
Acts 12:6-7 (NIV) “The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. ‘Quick, get up!’ he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.”
This wasn’t the first time Peter’s life was in jeopardy. Stephen had already been stoned. Herod Agrippa 1 had killed James (the brother of John) with a sword. And when Herod saw that it pleased the Jewish people (who were in Jerusalem celebrating the Passover), he decided Peter was next on the list to be captured.
In Acts 12, we find Peter chained between two soldiers in a highly guarded prison cell awaiting his trial and possible execution.
Did you notice in the key verse that Peter was sleeping? The night before his trial? That alone is amazing! Being able to sleep soundly the night before a possible execution? I’m not sure I could be so brave.
But while Peter was sleeping and Herod was waiting, the church was earnestly praying for God to intervene. And God was faithful to send an angel and deposit him right inside the dreadful prison cell where Peter slept.
We can note several things about this divine encounter. As you read each point below, imagine yourself there with Peter. Picture in your mind what the prison might have looked like. The sounds. The smells. The invisible tension in the air.
Now, imagine this happening right before your eyes:
- When the angel appeared, light flooded the darkness.
- When the angel spoke, chains fell off of Peter’s wrists.
- When the angel gave instructions, Peter responded promptly.
- When the angel moved towards safety, Peter followed precisely.
If we were in Peter’s shoes, would we have responded the same way?
Based on the text, Peter wasn’t terrified. He didn’t stop to ask a bunch of questions. Nor was he hesitant to leave with the angel.
Scripture tells us Peter thought he was seeing a vision. I wonder if he was still half asleep?
If we look closely, we can see a connection between God’s rescue of Peter and how God is able to rescue us in our times of great need.
When we’re faced with impossible circumstances, we can always call out to God for help–just like the believers did who were praying for Peter. God heard their prayers and acted on their behalf.
When we’re surrounded by situations that appear dark and hopeless like a prison cell, God’s presence will always flood that darkness with His glorious light.
When we feel chained up by our emotions, the spoken Word of God can release us from tainted feelings, which continuously hold us down.
When God instructs us to move away from dangerous situations, our prompt and obedient response will always lead us towards safety.
What started out as a hopeless situation for Peter turned into a supernatural encounter that was arranged by God. Through earnest prayer, obedience and trust, Peter was ushered out of captivity back into freedom where he belonged.
Let’s not forget this story and let’s make sure we always remember … freedom is where we belong.
Prayer: Father God, help me to remember that You are always willing and able to rescue me in my time of need. Thank You for allowing Jesus to pay the price for my freedom on the cross. Protect me so that I don’t fall back into the yoke of sin that constantly tries to keep me captive. May I always remember that freedom in Christ is where I belong. In Jesus’ name, amen.
After Peter’s encounter with the angel, he went directly to Mary’s house where many... Read More
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