Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals;” and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.”
And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people" (Acts 12:7-11 NKJV).
A Story of Deliverance
Herod made it clear that Peter was not going to make it out alive. He gave strict orders that under no circumstances should THIS prisoner be allowed to escape. As Peter lay waiting his execution, a bright light appeared in that prison cell and there stood an angel next to him. Peter did what he was told and followed the angel. Peter knew at that moment that it was not a dream. He understood that God had sent the angel to save his life and began to praise him.
We also have an enemy that is working 24/7 to keep us from God and his plan for our life. He loves to see us in bondage just like Peter in that prison cell; chained up by fear and doubt, imprisoned by intimidation and discouragement.
Two Chains: Fear and Doubt
God has big plans for your life and the devil is a liar that will use those lies to stop you. He does not want you to go forward or trust God’s blueprint for you. He uses the chains of fear and doubt to stop you from advancing. He thinks that if he can convince you of his lies, he wins.
The binding chain of fear is used by the devil every day. Fear that you are not good enough. Fear that you do not have what it takes to be successful. Fear that you might fail. Fear of what others will think or say about you.
The second chain is the constraining doubt that God really loves you; that he really cares. One way the devil enjoys holding you back is by causing you to doubt yourself. He has you question your own talents, gifts, and call on your life. The enemy uses these shackles to convince you of his lies.
Shake off those chains of fear and doubt! The Bible reminds us that God has not given us a spirit of fear. He has a miraculous plan for your life. Don’t believe the lies. Receive the freedom God has for you.
Two Guards: Intimidation and Discouragement
If fear and doubt don’t get the job done, Satan has a backup plan: intimidation and discouragement. He will try intimidation to convince you that you are making a mistake or discouragement to bring you down; to keep you in that dark prison. He wants to prevent you from experiencing the freedom God has for you.
The Light: The Word of God
”Suddenly” the light comes shining through. Remember that the light is hope, victory, and God’s promises for your life. The light is God’s Word. The chains are still there. The door is still locked. The guards are still on duty. The gate is still closed. Then the voice of the angel says “Get Up!” It’s time to move! Get your shoes, grab your stuff and let’s go! You can’t stay here anymore. Then the chains begin to fall off, the doors are unlocked, the guard disappears, and the gate opens. You walk right into freedom. Keep moving and praising God for what he has delivered you from!
- Are you in a place that feels like a prison, and you cannot see a way out?
- Are there some chains causing you to doubt or fear something today? What is a Bible verse you can use to combat that fear or doubt?
- Are there some guards that are trying to intimidate or discourage you today? What Bible verse can you use to overcome those feelings?
- Choose two Bible verses that can help you overcome the lies that the devil tries to use to trip you up and memorize them.
Get Up, Get Out, Get Free
Our strength does not come from people, but from the Lord! He whom the Son sets free is FREE indeed (John 8:36)! Everything looks bigger when you are down. There is power when you get up! We have to keep moving forward. Remember how big our God is. Even if your faith is small, big doors will open if you get up. You will get out and get free!