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More Powerful than Prison Bars

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More Powerful than Prison Bars

Acts 12:1-17

Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent!  I ask that when I am present I may not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh.  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.  You are looking at things as they are outwardly.  If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.  For even if I should boast somewhat further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I shall not be put to shame, for I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters.  For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive, and his speech contemptible.”  Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are also in deed when present [2 Corinthians 10:1-11 NASV].

W

e each face impossibilities—some more so than others.  The impossibilities which I have in view are of such a nature that only God can intervene.  If we’re not careful, we can view those things strictly from the external perspective and try to handle them ourselves … and that often leads to failure.

Second Corinthians Ten gives us the account of Paul, the writer of the letter, as he defended himself against those who attacked him for his writings and ministry style, saying that his letters were weighty, but that his presence was weak.  If he were the man he claimed to be, they said, he would do this and say that.  So, writing in his defence, Paul put his finger on the problem itself: You are looking only on the surface of things… [verse seven].

If there is one statement that describes how most of us live, how most of us view conflicts, and how most of us handle life, it is found in verse seven.  We view matters externally.  We see them as physical situations; we study them through the eyes of physical logic.  So, we come to physical or logical conclusions and deal with them accordingly … only to fail, drawing upon none of the power of God’s Holy Spirit in us.

In the preceding verses, the Apostle writes: though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses [2 Corinthians 10:3, 4].  Underscore in your mind these particular words: in the flesh, according to the flesh, and of the flesh.  Think of the word outwardly from verse seven as being virtually the same as the word flesh in verses three and four.

As long as we are on this earth we have physical bodies, physical brains, and a physical basis for thinking.  Although we live our lifestyle according to the fleshly standpoint, our battles are really not in the realm of the flesh.  Our battles are often against invisible forces, deeper than just the physical, meaning that we need another sort of armoury from which to draw weapons—we need a weapon that will handle that kind of non-flesh battle.

Paul says in verse four that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh.  Our weapons do not consist of human logic, human strength, human decisions.  Instead, the weapons of our warfare are divinely powerfulThe Amplified Bible says these weapons are mighty before GodThe Living Bible speaks of them as God’s mighty weapons and the Berkeley Bible states that they are powerful with God’s help.  The weapons of our warfare are powerful—with God’s help—for what?  Paul says, for the destruction of fortresses.

Are you chained inside an impossible situation at this time, unable to get out?  Are you imprisoned by big, iron bars and massive gates which shut you in?  Paul would say to us, “None of that is beyond the power of God.  God is able to break you loose and to pull off a remarkable deliverance.”  Underscore in your mind this singular truth: Looking at life from the outward perspective breeds panic and unrest

Keep that in mind as we look at Acts twelve, the account of a classic case in point.  The Christians of the first century jumped from the frying pan into the fire.  Things were tough eight years earlier when Stephen was stoned, but now they were almost impossible.  The Christians had experienced a long season of persecution, difficulty, misery, and misunderstanding.

Those of us who live in this generation, thank God, know nothing of being persecuted for the Faith—that is, really persecuted.  We will likely raise our families and see them raise their families (if the Lord tarries), and we will not lose them because of persecution arising from their relationship to Christ.  That was not the situation in the first century.  Don’t hurry so fast through the Bible that you miss the details God provides.  As Dr. Luke begins this portion of the book, he starts with a situation relating to persecution—it was about this time… [Acts 12:1].  About what time?  We read these words and pass over them as though they’re just understood by everyone.  Yet most people reading them don’t know to what time he was referring.

This period was one of intense persecution for our spiritual forebears.  About the same time that the saints had gone into Antioch and had begun to experience a new work of God, there was a backwash of pain, conflict, murder, and death.  Also, something happened in Jerusalem that was tough to handle, and it related to a man mentioned in verse one: It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.  How many could answer the question, “Which Herod?”  That’s like saying, “The most difficult time in Canadian history was during the government of the Prime Minister.”  Which one?  We’ve had a number of them.  Herod was a surname; it was like Caesar for a title.  It was like the title President or General or Commander.

The world of first century Palestine was a Roman world.  Even though they had their own vassal government, Judea really was under the authority of Rome.  The Roman Empire was ruled by one man—the Caesar.  Think of the structure of this government as an umbrella having a metal point sticking out the top—that would be the Caesar.  One of the spines of the Roman umbrella was Palestine, which was governed over a period of time by rulers known as Herods.

The Caesar at the time, of which Luke is writing in chapter twelve of Acts, was Claudius.  Every person on earth (at least within that ancient civilised world) answered to him, one way or another.  When he declared taxation, taxes were collected from the people.  When he declared death, executions were carried out.  When he declared life, people were spared.  He was the sole authority.  He, being Roman, magnanimously allowed the Jews to have their own puppet government, ruled by the Herods.

Herod Agrippa I—that’s the Herod mentioned in Acts 12:1, 2.  What a ruler he was!  Both he and his predecessors were jealous, petty, cruel tyrants, men of conspiracy, many of them trying to ride the fence of the Roman world as well as that of the Jewish world.  They were viewed as half-breeds by most of the orthodox Jews.  Josephus says that Herod Agrippa I was a man who was vain and who scrupulously observed the Jewish rites.  A. T. Roberson, the noted Baptist scholar, adds: “He was anxious to placate his Jewish subjects, while retaining the favour of the Romans.”  He was trying to scratch both backs.  He built theatres and held games for the Romans and the Greeks, and he killed the Christians to please the Jews.  He rode the fence.  Merrill Unger says that he was fond of popularity and possessed personal magnetism.  He was no dummy.  He was cruel and murderous, but he was smart.  He was conniving and cunning.

These other writers agree with Luke, who said he arrested some to persecute them.  When he saw that this action pleased the Jews, he put James to death.  Remember Peter, James and John, the three closest friends of Jesus?  That’s the James here—not the writer of the book, but the close disciple of the Lord Jesus.  Herod Agrippa I had murdered James and, when he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also [verse three].  He was a man-pleaser; he wanted very much to gain the favour of the Jews.

Remember the truth to which I just called your attention in Second Corinthians: Looking at life from the outward perspective breeds panic and unrest.  These Jewish Christians who were terrorised at the death of James and, of course, had witnessed the earlier death of Stephen, were now faced with a decision.  Their close friend, a recognised leader within their assembly, Peter, was imprisoned and facing death.  They had a decision to make.  If they looked at the matter from the outward perspective, they would see three events which conspired to threaten the future of the Faith.

First, Peter was imprisoned.  Verse three states that he proceeded to seize Peter also.  Jail was not a new experience for Peter.  “Why,” you say, “he’s been in jail before?”  As a matter of fact, this is his third imprisonment [Acts four, five, and twelve].  They almost knew him by his first name, he’d been in jail so often.  He practically had his own cell.

This happened during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Perhaps you wonder why this detail is added.  Some people think the Bible was sort of put together like verbal putty—there was a little space left blank here, so God stuck something in (i.e. a historical fact) that was not necessarily related to that which either precedes or follows.  Don’t you believe it.  Every word, every phrase has been carefully thought through and is, in fact, inspired by God and put together so that it makes perfect sense—whether we see it or not.

A case in point is the Feast of Unleavened Bread mentioned in verse three.  In those days the Jews observed one particular feast meticulously—the Passover.  The Passover Feast lasted eight days.  During the eight-day period the feast was observed, the true Jew kept no yeast in his home—no leaven—because to the Jew it was a reflection of sin.  There was something political involved in the Passover Period as well.  There were no trials or executions during the Feast of the Passover.  That saved Peter’s life.

Thus, when Luke added that this happened during the Feat of Unleavened Bread, he was saying that God sent it at just this time, and it was no happenstance that Peter was in the Prison right at that precise moment.  Peter couldn’t be killed because Herod was a back-scratcher, remember?  Herod was a man who thought, “I’ve got to please the Jews, so I can’t bother them and kill Peter, and at the same time win their favour, so I’ll wait.”  Peter was in prison right up until the last day of Passover.

Second, he was surrounded.  They seized him, they put him in prison, and they delivered four squads of four soldiers each to guard him [verse four].  It was uncommon for that to happen.  One squad made sense, but not four.  There were four men in a squad.  One soldier kept watch from six in the evening till nine in the evening.  The next soldier kept watch the next three-hour duration; and this pattern was followed through the night.  Herod knew, however, that this man had been sprung from prison earlier in sort of a spooky manner [recorded for us in Acts five].  He didn’t want that to happen again, so he put four squads of soldiers with him so that there would be a whole squad around Peter each watch of the night.  So, Peter was guarded on all sides.  We’re told that Peter was bound with two chains, and that sentries stood guard at the entrance [verse six].  He couldn’t even bite his nails—he had a chain on each side, a soldier on all sides, and guards right outside the prison bars.  He would never get away; he was in prison; he was surrounded.

Third, he was doomed.  Remember that Herod is the man who killed James.  Murder was his style.  The Feast of Unleavened Bread was just about to run its course.  The text focuses on the night before Herod was to bring him to trial [verse six].  It had come right down to the wire.  From all outward appearances, escape was impossible.

Two matters of importance should be highlighted.  First, Peter was sleeping [verse six].  Personally, I think Peter had resigned himself to the fact that death was imminent.  He was to glorify God whether by life or death—so why waste a night’s sleep?  Might as well die rested.  Second, the church was earnestly praying to God for him [verse five].  They were praying through day and night.  Why?  Because the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  It would take God’s intervention, and that’s what they were requesting.  In a context of grave threats the church was praying, Peter was sleeping, and God was working.

God’s very favourite kind of platform upon which He might work is impossibility.  The more impossible, the more He loves it.  Faced with the impossible, our tendency is to look at the outward, failing to see God at work in a divinely powerful manner.  So the church prayed and this impossible scene continued.

Look at the intervention.  It’s fabulous.  Beginning at verse seven, Suddenly … the Lord appeared.  That’s the way He operates.  You go along, further… further… day after day, month after month, then suddenly at the very last minute, when it’s absolutely “panic city,” the Lord steps in!

There lies Peter in the prison cell.  He was asleep—really asleep.  The text states that a light shone in the cell.  After all, he had to be able to find his sandals.  He had to get out, so the Lord put a light on.

He struck Peter on the side and woke him up.  “Quick, get up!” he said.  Think about this.  Don’t make it so biblical.  If you leave it biblical, you won’t see the significance of it.  “Wake up, Peter!”  It’s just like trying to waken one of your children or your spouse, and they just cannot wake up.  That’s what happened to Peter.  “Wake up, Peter!  Wake up!  Get up quickly!”

The text says the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.  He looked, and he had no chains on.  The angel then said, Put on your clothes and sandals.  “Get dressed, Peter.  You can’t go out in the streets looking like that!”  He probably had on his undertunic.  So he looked around for his sandals and put them on—maybe on the wrong feet.  The angel continued.  Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.  He put on his coat trying to figure out where he was.

“Wake up, Peter!”

“Who, me?  Why?  I don’t have to…”

“Put on your sandals.  Wrap yourself with this cloak.”

So he put on his cloak and he walked out of the cell where he had been imprisoned.  Verse ten says, They passed the first and second guards.  Isn’t that great?  Peter walked by the guards—“See you later, Aristobulus, Sopitar.  Been nice knowing you all.”

I don’t know what the guards saw.  Nobody else does, either, by the way.  As a matter of fact, it could have been in the fourth dimension.  Isn’t that spooky?  The whole thing could have been pulled off as the Lord just kind of slipped him into another dimension.

Here’s our problem with God.  We keep Him in our dimensions!  He’s not limited to our dimensions!  There’s a whole world going on that is invisible to this present world.

Whatever happened, the guards never knew it.  It all occurred and Peter walked out by those two guards.  Then, verse ten records another impossible event leading to freedom, they came to the iron gate leading to the city.  It opened for them by itself…  Isn’t that good?  “Open up!”  Swoosh.  “Thanks.”  The angel of the Lord led him right out.

They were outside.  Look at this.  I love it!  It says, suddenly the angel left him…  Peter came to himself…  Can you imagine?  He went to sleep in prison.  The last thing he remembered was kicking off his sandals and leaning on the shoulder of this soldier.  The next thing he knew, he was outside.  Suddenly it dawned on him—God had intervened.

That tells me there’s not a lock in our lives that God can’t pick, and often He does the very best work without any help.  You can be asleep and He’s working.  That’s why is says in Psalm 127:3, He grants sleep to those He loves.  Isn’t that great?  You can lie down and rest tonight and you can relax knowing that the sovereign God who specialises in miracles is pulling something off while you’re asleep.  He neither slumbers nor sleeps.  No weapon forged against you will prevail…  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [Isaiah 54:17].

Peter woke up and he was free.

Aurora Leigh writes: God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers, and thrusts the thing we have prayed for in our faces.  Isn’t that beautiful?

The very answer hit Peter right in the face, at the last minute.  What did he do?  Well, he shared it.  He said, Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent His angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating.

When he realised that a miracle had happened that that he was free, he felt the need to go tell the brothers and sisters who were supporting him in prayer.  Now, watch those prayer warriors.  It’s one of the funniest sections in the entire Book of Acts.

He went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.  This is the Mark who wrote the Gospel, and what an interesting heritage he had.  John Mark’s mother had a home where prayer meetings were held in the early church.  Verse thirteen begins, Peter knocked at the outer entrance.  He was knocking at the gate which was outside the door area, and Rhoda, a little girl who was probably tired of praying, came to answer.  She listened and heard the voice of Peter.  Doctor Luke tells us that she recognised Peter’s voice.  Furthermore, the divine author is careful to state that she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it [verse fourteen].  Isn’t that just like a child?  “Hey, that’s Peter.  Peter is here!  I’ve got to go tell them!”  And Peter was out there thinking, “Where is Rhoda?  Why doesn’t she open the gate?”

Rhoda ran back inside and said, “Hey, I heard the voice of Peter!”  Look at those great prayer warriors.  They responded to her, “Shhh, be quiet.  You’re out of your mind.  Be quiet; John’s praying.”

“Heavenly Father, deliver our brother Peter…”

“Don’t interrupt him; he’s praying.”

“But Peter’s out…”

“Don’t bother him.  Be quiet.  Let John finish praying.”

“Listen, Peter is out there knock…”

“Rhoda, stop interrupting!  We are praying!  This is serious business.”

That is so much like us!  “Don’t bother me with the answer; I’m trying to bring the request.”

Now, this was a pretty sharp girl.  She wasn’t intimidated.  Verse fifteen informs us that she kept insisting that it was so.  They kept saying [literal interpretation of the Greek], It must be his angel.  The centre reference in my Bible refers me to Matthew 18:10, which is an excellent verse teaching us about guardian angels.

Wait a minute!  Is that what this is about?  I checked Matthew 18:10 which says …their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father in heaven.  I reviewed Psalm 91:11, which states that He will command His angels concerning you.  I saw Luke 16:22 where it says the poor man died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side.  I read Hebrews 1:14 which states that angels are ministering spirits.  Every place guardian angels are mentioned, it is plural.  That isn’t just a nit-picking little detail.  Why did they say angel when referring to Peter?  Guardian angels are plural, not just one; they’re never shown to be one.

These prayer warriors were not thinking of a guardian angel, but of the death angel.  It was believed, going back to the time of Moses, that when a person died, an angel (singular) came and assisted in the departure of the soul.  “He’s dead,” they said.  “Rhoda, the only thing we can say is that he’s dead.  He’s gone.”

Now, Peter was still knocking outside this gate.  And when they opened the door… they saw him.  Like all great people of faith they said, “We can’t believe it.”  That’s what those praying for Peter said, “Lord, get Peter free!”  And Peter was free.  Their response was, “I can’t believe it.  Look at that, John!”  “I know.  I’m amazed.”

Verse seventeen is a delight.  They were all dancing around, so excited, so thrilled, that Peter has to say, “Wait, you guys.  Wait.  Be silent.  Listen up.”  Then he told how the Lord (look who gets the glory) led him out of the impossible situation.  Next he says, Tell James and the brothers about this.  Then he left for another place.  He didn’t hang around as a miracle worker.  He just said, “Go strengthen their faith.  Tell them what happened.  The Lord did it.  Go tell people that He did it.”

That tells me that when God intervenes in an impossible situation, we are to tell it.  It is to strengthen other people’s faith as well as our own that God acts.

Two great lessons may be drawn from this account.  We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.  I began by saying that we are all facing some kind of impossibility.  Your tendency is to look at the situation externally and say, “This can never happen.  These chains are on it.  That door is locked.  These bars are up.  That gate is closed.  It’ll never open.”  Yet here we find a man who slept through the whole thing.  What looked like an impossibility was, in fact, just a platform for God’s great movement.

If there is to be a solution, it will take divine intervention.  If something is going to happen to spring us loose, God will have to intervene.  He may use a person.  He may use a friend or even an enemy.  He may use a circumstance.  He may use a tragedy.  He may use a disappointment.  He may use something that’s never been used before in your life.  But He’ll amaze you.  In these impossible situations, God is the master.

Our heavenly Father is One who is more powerful than prison bars.  His work is not limited to the first century or to prisons or to apostles or to biblical characters.  He is alive and well today.

Some of you are chained—chained to those strong soldiers called sin and unbelief—and you’ve been there a long time.  Perhaps the Lord is stepping into your cell this morning and He is saying through Peter, “Get up.  Get dressed.”

Don’t leave this whole passage in the life of Peter.  It’s for you.  Whatever that circumstance that you’ve written off as out of the question, impossible—don’t look at it outwardly.  With your divinely powerful weaponry called prayer, turn your attitude, your habit, your circumstance over to Him.  He’ll take charge.

Perhaps you think it is impossible that God could save you after the life you have led.  He specialises in impossible situations.  He saved Paul.  His appeared to be an impossible situation.  I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.  Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.  The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life [1 Timothy 1:12-16].

Perhaps you are struggling to forgive another.  God can give the grace to set you free from your prison of bitterness and bring you into the freedom which accompanies forgiveness.  Some of you face imprisonment which accompanies the fear of death or prolonged illness or some dreadful disease.  God delights to set His child at liberty from every fear.  This is the message of God in Psalm 34:6.

This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;

He saved him out of all his troubles.

Perhaps you believe you are simply a failure at what really matters in life.  Someone has aptly said that God is not a junk dealer—He works to produce that which is permanent and glorious in the life of His people.  Peter, perhaps understanding this better than most Christians, wrote: In his great mercy [God] has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed [1 Peter 1:3-9].  Isn’t that great?

I recall a young man trapped in a prison of deep bitterness created through abandonment and cruelty.  That prison in which he floundered grew darker still as he embraced the wicked philosophy of Marxist-Leninism.  Embittered, that angry young man was prepared to destroy his family, his future, his heritage.

Unbeknownst to that young man, his father was praying for him.  His godly grandmother prayed mightily for his salvation.  However, it was impossible that anything would change in his life since he had grown so bitter over such a long period of time.  While he slumbered in the darkness of his dreadful prison, God was working.

The few things which seemed to matter were taken from him in an accident.  A trailer holding his possessions was smashed on the highway and all his material goods were removed in a stroke.  He managed to obtain work with his hands, but before he was able to begin to earn a reasonable wage, he nearly lost his only child to unexplained fever through his inability to pay for medical services.  Driven to despair, he attended a revival meeting in a Baptist Church.  That night, his wife was saved and he was startled to discover that for the first time he felt a strange emptiness.  Within the week he was seriously injured at work and unable to provide any longer for his wife and child.  Through all this, God was working in the dark.

Within the month, that young man became a Christian.  No one is born a Christian, but rather each child of God is born again into the Kingdom of God through faith in the Son of God.  That young man was born again as he realised that he was a sinful man and that God had given His life as a sacrifice in the place of his sin.  I am able to tell that story, because I am that young man.  Now old, I am able to testify that God can set anyone free from whatever prison that holds them fast, delivering each of us into the glorious light of His freedom.  This is the manner in which He works.

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” [Romans 10:9-13].

This is our encouragement to each individual sharing the service today, to seek the freedom of God’s presence and to seek the freedom of God’s grace.  You need no longer remain imprisoned, kept fast by the bars of prejudice or fear or bitterness.  You, too, can be free to revel in the glory of God’s grace through Christ the Lord.  Amen.


Paul says in verse four that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh.  Our weapons do not consist of human logic, human strength, human decisions.  Instead, the weapons of our warfare are divinely powerfulThe Amplified Bible says these weapons are mighty before GodThe Living Bible speaks of them as God’s mighty weapons and the Berkeley Bible states that they are powerful with God’s help.  The weapons of our warfare are powerful—with God’s help—for what?  Paul says, for the destruction of fortresses.

Looking at life from the outward perspective breeds panic and unrest

Herod Agrippa I—that’s the Herod mentioned in Acts 12:1, 2.  What a ruler he was!  Both he and his predecessors were jealous, petty, cruel tyrants, men of conspiracy, many of them trying to ride the fence of the Roman world as well as that of the Jewish world.  They were viewed as half-breeds by most of the orthodox Jews.  Josephus says that Herod Agrippa I was a man who was vain and who scrupulously observed the Jewish rites.  A. T. Roberson, the noted Baptist scholar, adds: “He was anxious to placate his Jewish subjects, while retaining the favour of the Romans.”  He was trying to scratch both backs.  He built theatres and held games for the Romans and the Greeks, and he killed the Christians to please the Jews.  He rode the fence.  Merrill Unger says that he was fond of popularity and possessed personal magnetism.  He was no dummy.  He was cruel and murderous, but he was smart.  He was conniving.

That tells me there’s not a lock in our lives that God can’t pick, and often He does the very best work without any help.  You can be asleep and He’s working.  That’s why is says in Psalm 127:3, He grants sleep to those He loves.  Isn’t that great?  You can lie down and rest tonight and you can relax knowing that the sovereign God who specialises in miracles is pulling something off while you’re asleep.  He neither slumbers nor sleeps.  No weapon forged against you will prevail…  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [Isaiah 54:17].

Peter woke up and he was free.

Aurora Leigh writes: God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers, and thrusts the thing we have prayed for in our faces.  Isn’t that beautiful?

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