Deliverance God’s Way CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This passage tells the story of how Peter was delivered from prison when Herod the king stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the church. It is an amazing example of how God’s deliverance works. Truly if God wanted Peter out of bondage all that was necessary is for Him to speak it, “Peter is free” , and it would have been so. Yet this account of the things that took place are recorded for our admonition. There are some principles of deliverance God’s way that we need to take hold of.
Causes for being in bondage
Unjustly or by mistake (verses 1-4)
Peter was in prison for doing nothing wrong, he was in the will of God. The same can be said for John the Baptist, and Joseph, all were unjustly in bondage. All suffered wrongfully [1 Pet.2:19]. We must be very careful to use this excuse when justifying our bondage. Very few if us today are righteous enough to suffer wrongfully for the cause of Christ. There are folks who gauge their righteousness by their suffering. Most of our suffering is self inflicted, be very careful. Yet if you are wrongfully in bondage, trust in deliverance God’s way.
Justly by Sin
Hebrews 12:1 states “let us lay aside every weight, and sin which doth so easily beset us,…” Sin is a ball and chain, bondage in your life. Sin controls you, you never control sin. Paul told Timothy that those who don’t acknowledge the truth, can be snared by the devil and taken captive. Sin is bondage. What has taken you captive, what has control over you? Worry is sin and based in fear. Covetousness, envy, idolatry, or stubbornness are all forms of bondage, rooted in sin. Un-forgiveness, rebellion, sexual sins, ambition, or greed are forms of captivity that you may snared by. Once in bondage to sin you need deliverance God’s way.
A unjust mistake or justly by sin, bondage may come your way. Let us look in this passage and see how we may chooe to stay in bondage.
(verse 5) “kept in Prison” The early stages of sin will allow you to function and live normal life.
(verse 5) “prayer was made…for him…” Others sometime see your bondage, even if you don’t and pray for you.
(verse 6) “when Herod would have brought him forth” Bondage is dangerous; your situation will get worse.
(verse 6) “Peter was sleeping…” We become perfectly content in bondage. We have lived there so long that it is our “normal” life now. There is a “comfort zone” we construct to survive. Abused wives learn to survive in the bondage of abuse and are content to stay there.
(verse 7) “light shined in the prison” God will put some light on your problem, he will point it out to you.
(verse 7) “he smote Peter on the side” The Holy Spirit will reprove you. You have had that happen to you during the preaching of God’s words, He punched you in the ribs.
(verse 7) “raised him up…and the chains fell off his hands” Peter was Free at that point! What did he have to do to be made free? NOTHING. God pointed out the problem (light shined), and sent conviction (Smote him in on the side) and he was DELIVERED at that moment. God wants us to have life “more abundantly”, not a life of bondage, God delivers us. Most of stop and decide to stay where we are, in bondage. “I am trapped in this sin and I can’t get out” No, you have been made free [John 8:36] but choose to remain in your sin. Deliverance God’s way is your choice.
What does it take to complete your Deliverance?
(verse 8) “Gird thyself” Get yourself together, composure. Stop the drama and emotions.
(verse 8) “bind on thy sandals” Prepare to get moving. Prepare to change.
(verse 8) “cast thy garment about thee” Cover yourself in righteousness. Get as close to God as possible. “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” Did you have any problem getting rid of unrighteous friends when you got saved? No, they got rid of you. Sin has a hard time the closer it gets to God, cover yourself in righteousness.
(verse 8) “follow me” Submission / obedience
(verse 9) “and he went out… and followed” YOU have to make the first move. The angel of the Lord did not carry Peter out of the prison, he, himself walked out. To follow, all it takes is one step in the right direction.
(verse 9) “”wist not that it was true” You don’t need to understand everything. We stop and choose to remain in bondage because we need to know and understand the future. We are to walk by faith and not by sight, yet we must see the process that will lead us from bondage, or we choose not to go.
(verse 10) Peter was never alone for the rest of the deliverance. God will walk with you through every obstacle until you are completely delivered.
(verse 11) “and when Peter was come to himself” The point of understanding just like the prodigal son. Required upon completion – Give glory to God. [Ps.50:15]
Deliverance God’s way is :
He shows you the problem
He sends conviction
He Frees you
At that point deliverance is your choice
Get yourself together
Prepare to move or change
Cover yourself in righteousness
Submit and follow him
“Lean not on your own understanding”
Give God the Glory