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About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. — Acts 16:25-34
I find it so interesting that we don't hear any explaining, complaining, or blaming by Paul and Silas in this text. These two men don't attempt to explain their way out of their situation, complain about the situation, or cast blame on anyone — including their accusors or God. And remember, they are not in a good spot. Previously Paul had been stoned in Lystra, but Jews did this. At this moment, he stands before Roman magistrates who are more vicious and protective of their customs. And so these men are stripped naked, ridiculed, beaten, and thrown deep in prison, all from false testimony.
I don't know about you, but when I am in a challenging situation, I tend to give as much human effort as possible. I turn to human ingenuity to navigate my way. This is especially true when suffering injustice.
Yet this isn't what Paul and Silas do. Even until the late hours of the night, they turn to only supernatural effort in prayer. In prayer, they turn to God, and God shows up. The earth shakes. Prison doors fly open. Shackles drop off. And their freedom is steps away. But God provides more, way more. They depart the prison out with an additional person; a Philippian jailer. Their spiritual belief becomes his spiritual belief. And a Roman in a faithless city is saved. But not just him, his whole family.
And then, as I reflected on this and wondered if I miss out on supernatural provision because I trust too much on natural provision. If I get in God's way by trusting in myself, my ingenuity, my righteousness, and my godly defense?
The conclusion I came to was this: that sometimes righteous action is needed. But sometimes, the righteous action that is necessary is not activity based on my ingenuity. But righteous action that trusts in God's ingenuity. And these men model how to do that here. The righteous action is prayer. Trusting only in God through prayer and asking him to make the way. Jesus, after all, said he was the way, truth, and life. And early believers we called believers in the "Way." So what these men model for us is how to let the Waymaker make the way. And as they do, God does what he does best — he makes the way.
So today, stop trying to make your way. Let the Waymaker make way for you. And then let's watch and see if God does something you could not do anyway — something supernatural.
ASK THIS: What do you need to stop doing and let God do for you? (Share below).
DO THIS: Ask God to provide the way. And then get out of the way.
PRAY THIS: God, I need you to do this ________________________________
PLAY THIS: Waymaker — Jesus Image Choir.
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