Acts 12


This is the word that comes to mind when I read Acts 12.  If you haven't read Acts 12:1-11, you are in for a treat. It is a story about a man named Peter, who is in prison.  One day an angel of the lord appeared to him. And when the angel of the Lord appeared to peter, he said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me...” Acts 12:8

The angel came to Peter while he was stuck in prison, and what happened next, is that like a total super hero, Peter and the angel walked right out. Metal gates and all. When I read this story, it gives me hope! It’s a story about breakthrough, and deliverance, and God's power to save. It causes me to sit and think about my own life and It gives me courage that God will work for me just like he did for Peter. But then, in the quiet, reality settles in.  Like an IMAX movie, my mind is tempted to play through all of the times it seems like God didn't do anything. And I’m tempted to focus on the prisons that still exist in my life.

Chances are, you know exactly what I'm talking about. All of us have sat alone in the quiet and wondered “why?” certain situations in our lives don't have the breakthrough we desire.
“Why did they have to die?” “Why am I still stuck in this addiction?” “Why won’t the sickness go away?” And the truth is, most of the time it feels like breakthrough just doesn't come. It feels like one hit after another, and one struggle after the other.
So what do we do when we are in our prison, and no angel of the lord comes to open the gate? How do we move forward? How do we press ahead? I think our text this week gives us our answer; “And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.” Acts‬ ‭12‬:‭9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What do we do? We keep following Jesus. In the darkness of the night, in the uncertainty of the season and in the brokenness of the situation, we keep following our deliverer's voice. You see, Peter didn’t know that the angel was there to set him free. He also didn’t know what the angel was wanting him to do. All he knew was that the angel was there in his prison, and he was calling him to follow.

So what did Peter do when the angel called him to “follow me”? He listened. He didn’t argue. He didn’t debate. He didn’t sit and talk about how long he had been stuck there. (Which would have been okay to do. God is secure enough to listen to our complaints.) No, he simply followed. He did what the angel said to do… even before he knew if it was a vision or reality.

What this says to me, is that Peter never allowed his situation to harden his heart. Therefore, when the time came to follow the lead of the one God sent to deliver him, he was ready. There were no hesitations holding him back.

This is the type of faith God is calling us to have with the prisons of our lives. He is calling us to wait and then follow like Peter. I don’t know about you, but I am so quick to think that God is done. I am so fast to say that God has lost the key to the prison, and I am left for dead.

Yet in the midst of those declarations, there is a faith that humbly waits. There is a hope that compounds and builds. And there is an obedience that follows when the master's voice calls.
It is the faith we see in the life of Peter, and it is the faith waiting for each and every one of us if we are willing to keep placing our trust in Him.

By Kyle Smith

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