Thursday, September 15, 2016

Best of the Best Series: Open Sesame


Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the LORD hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. - Acts 12:5-11 

This is a very familiar story, but I want to look at it from a particular angle. Suppose Peter had tried to escape the prison on his own. Could he have undone the chains from around his wrists? Would it have been possible for him to “slip by” all the guards? And if he had accomplished all of that, is it likely that he would have been able to open the gate? The Bible tells us that the gate swung open of its own accord, but in fact, what happened is that God opened the gate.

And did you notice when God opened the gate? It wasn't when the angel first appeared to Peter. It wasn't when the iron bars of the prison door swung open. It wasn't when Peter walked past the first and second guard. No, God opened the gate just in time for Peter to walk through it.

What a lesson for us today. Unlike Peter, many times we try to work out our own solutions. Our efforts usually leave us stranded before a closed door with no way of prying it open. No matter how hard we try, things just don't work out the way we think they should. Could it be that we're standing at the wrong door? Or, is it possible that we're at the right door, but that it is not yet time for that door to be opened?

God saw Peter's predicament and provided an escape for him. God sees our situations too, and He will provide a way of escape for us. We, however, must be like Peter and allow God to do the rescuing. He will open the proper doors at the right time. Our only job is to have faith and then walk through the doors that God has opened.

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