And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. Acts 12:7
Let me give you a little back story on this. The early church was being harassed for speaking such heresy against religious doctrine. King Herod killed James and saw it pleased the Jews, so he arrested Peter to do the same, but thought he’d wait till after the Passover feast to present him to the Jews.
He posted 4 squads of soldiers to keep him, but God had other plans. It says that because of the constant prayers that came up before Him, he sent an angel to deliver him. Now I don’t know about you, but that would have freaked me out. Peter thought it was a vision. He was chained between two guards who were sleeping. He got up, got dressed, tied on his sandals, put his robe on and walked out. He passed the two guard posts and when they came to the gate that lead into the city, it opened on it’s own. The angel took him down one street and disappeared.
He finally realized what happened so he went to the house of Mary (Marks mom) and knocked on the gate. A girl named Rhoda came, saw it was Peter, ran back in and told everyone Peter was there and no one believed her. He continued knocking until someone came to the door and let him in.
This story always cracked me up! Picture this in your mind if you will; You’re at a prayer meeting praying that God delivers Peter from prison and spares his life. Hours pass, the man you’re praying for shows up and no one believes it. Seriously? Why bother praying if you’re not going to believe what you’re praying for will come to pass?
Yet even today, this is how we pray. Our prayers are real, our cries are heard, but our expectation isn’t there. Can I say it like this? We pray and cry for God to deliver us and when He comes through with a different method than we’re expecting, we don’t accept it or believe that it’s God. We command, “Well, I bind that in the name of Jesus!” when it’s Jesus who’s trying to do the very thing you asked for. Just because we don’t recognize how it could happen that way, we dismiss it as not God.
What we need to be doing is what He said to do from the beginning, trust. Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps. Proverbs 3:5-6
He’s the master planner. He knows the end from the beginning. His time is a bubble not a line. He’s the beginning and the end. He sees all and knows all. Nothing surprises Him and nothing takes Him off guard. He doesn’t wring His hands when things look bad cause my friend, if you trust Him in His plan, He will work all things out for your good and His glory.
It’s time to raise the bar, to have greater expectations and to trust that what happens will end up far better than you could ask, think or even imagine. It’s according to the power that works in me and that power never ever stops working!
Amen ELEVATED EXPECTATIONS!!
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