Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Get Up Quickly!


Peter and Paul, Apostles
Acts 12:1-11 (NRSV)

About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him.
The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, "Get up quickly." And the chains fell off his wrists. The angel said to him, "Fasten your belt and put on your sandals." He did so. Then he said to him, "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me." Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel's help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting."


Today's scripture reading makes me giggle because it reminds me of the importance of radical obedience to God.

I am quite sure that if an angel appeared to me in Peter's circumstances, rather than being quiet, quick and obedient, I would have been asking a million questions. Who are you? Why are you here? What took you so long? Where are we going? Why are we going this way and not that way? And so on and so on...

Sometimes we just need to learn to hear and heed the voice of God, trusting that God will not lead us astray.

Especially when we have been praying for a miracle, or a supernatural rescue, we need to be open to God's manifestation of the same to appear in ways we may not have ever imagined.

So often when we are in trouble, we try to dictate to God how it is that we should be rescued. We "write" a prescription through our prayers that we expect God to fulfill.

But, God does not work like this my friends! God is The Sovereign of the universe. God is in complete control. God sees the end, before it begins and God is well able to rescue us from anything that befalls us.

In general, I think that God welcomes our questions. God is not threatened by our curiosity. But, sometimes, we just need to learn to walk by faith and not by sight.

Peter was able to do just that and was thus, and therefore, rescued in a most unusual way. May each of us find the courage to follow God wherever we are led and to trust Almighty God's ability to save us whenever we are in trouble.

Let us pray:

God and gracious God, I am so glad that you are in total control of all things. I believe, please help Thou my unbelief. Please fill me up to overflowing with your Holy Spirit so that I can walk in radical obedience to your Word and please help me to share your love and care with others, in Jesus' Name, Amen.


If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @ http://bit.ly/JVhaLta

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