And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Can I ask, what time zone treadmills reside in?!?! Seriously though does anyone else’s treadmill track milliseconds at hour speed?! Please tell me because if your’s does not do this I will put my faith elsewhere… like maybe the rowing machine! At least then I could sit down, right!
Somehow this brings to my mind Acts 12. Faith is something you can’t fake especially when you don’t feel it, it’s something you take up inspite of your feelings. Kinda like I do on a treadmill; I may not feel like getting on it but I take faith in that it will provide strength to my heart if I persevere.
Reading through Acts 12 will help make the following make better sense. 🙂
We read James has just been killed by Herod and Peter is now imprisoned! Now can you imagine the state of peoples emotions! I mean Jesus has ascended to heaven by now and Peter, James and John… they are like three main disciples we often hear about! So loosing one of the top leaders like James might cause anyone’s faith foundation to quake just a bit (I’m surmising), especially now that Herod has taken Peter prisoner too! Can you imagine the fear and how many people probably wanted to pray, Jesus come back this isn’t working!!
Acts 12:4 states, Herod intended… but we know from Genesis 50:20 what the enemy intends for harm God can use for good! Job 42:2 also states that no purpose of God can be thwarted no matter what the enemy intends!
We see in Acts 12:5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. I see the church “faithing it”. They were praying for Peter even though they were probably just barely finishing up their prayers about James that hadn’t seemed to have been answered in the way they had all hoped! That first mountain hadn’t moved like they had probably prayed but I think… sometimes when God doesn’t move the mountain it’s because He wants to move YOU. He wants to move you deeper into His heart and that might mean He moves you and not the mountain.
In Acts 12:6 what do we see Peter doing the night before Herod is going to carry out his plan with him?! SLEEPING!!!!! Now that is a man that has been through the storm with Jesus before and knows that God can do more while he sleeps then if he were awake exhausting the last bit of strength he has for the next day worrying and stressing (See Matthew 8:23-27 for more on that)!
Not only is Peter sleeping but he is sleeping BETWEEN two guards! When we’re between two difficult situations or between one crazy appointment and the next are we “faithing it” like Peter and just abiding in I AM? Trusting He will provide Himself for us as He promises to never leave us, forsake or fail us. Trusting Him also means being willing to take His perspective and let Him do it His way. (1 Peter 4:19, Heb. 13:5)
Do we have faith as a child to say, My God is my Father who loves me and I will never remember something He will have forgotten so why should I worry?!
Acts 12:8 we see the angel tell Peter to get dressed and Peter does so without knowing where he is going or if he is going! I have found myself to be one that stresses without the big picture but I only have to go as far as Google maps to understand that would probably not be the best thing for me.
Just the other day I was trying to make it to one of my children’s sporting events but I was having such trouble with the internet’s mapping system!! When it comes to electronic mapping I’m better using the one step at a time mode. If I clip the list of steps I’m likely to find myself across the world in a foreign land wondering why the rest of the team is SO late!!!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6 How often is God going to have to remind me, “Girl, one step at at time!”
Acts 12:9 states that Peter followed the angel out of prison. God is the one that knows the way out of our “prisons” if we will just trustingly surrender to Him as our Lord and Master (John 8:36).
I read Acts 12:10 and thought, golly that walk must have looked pretty daunting! I mean not one, but TWO guards, and at the end was an iron gate!! Yet Peter chose to follow anyway. The cross looked daunting too, but Jesus went anyway, following His Fathers will (Luke 22:42).
Wouldn’t you know that iron gate at the end of the walk opened on it’s own for Peter! Peter would have missed that miracle if he had refused to walk because he felt to much fear, instead he trusted God would provide His presence and Peter faithed it! Courage is not the absence of fear but the presence of trust in the One who is Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11).
Lets not miss that in verse 10 it also says that the angel walked the length of one street with Peter and then suddenly left. What?!?! Don’t go!!! But verse 11 starts out with, it was then that Peter came to his senses and that without a doubt he knew it was the Lord. Maybe when we feel all alone its just an opportunity to come to our senses and realize without a doubt that our strength is found in no one else but God Himself, He is the great I AM (Neh. 8:10)!
Peter knew were to run and where to go knocking… he found people from the church praying for him (Matthew 7:7) Now in Acts 12:15 Rhoda is told she is out of her mind because she is the one to bring the news of Peters arrival to the group.
Sometime being told you are out of your mind might just be the best compliment right! Sometime we have to get out of our box like thinking! Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Notice when Rhoda told the group Peter was at the door they didn’t believe it – they said it must be his angel (15). Even though they were praying for Peter they were more likely to believe his angel was at their door than he himself! Verse 16 states they were astonished to find it really was Peter!
Every time I pray I need to pray with the faith that He can! Even if the mountain in the past didn’t move like I expected, even if my feelings don’t feel it, and my mind can’t understand it, I need to faith it. Take faith that He is good, He is faithful, He is trustworthy, He has the perfect plan that will not be thwarted and that He will certainly finish what He has started with my life and yours.
Acts 12:17 shows us Peter comes out of his prison and immediately points others eyes to God, to the activity and faithfulness of His mighty hand.
By the end of this chapter in Acts we see that what Herod had intended for another ended up being his own end. Herod dies and the last sentence is verse 24 states, But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.
God provides and preserves for His purpose so even when we don’t feel it, we can choose to faith it… in great confidence. Let us hold unswerving tot he hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
Faith is a gift, let’s use it. (Eph. 2:8)
Independent Read: Jeremiah 17:7