Silencing the Thunder and Releasing the Rock

Acts 12:1-19

prisonIn this story of persecution and deliverance, I would tend to focus on the deliverance of Peter exclusively.  It DOES tell us of God’s deliverance.  He is mighty to save and DOES deliver from the prisons that have us bound.  For that, I rejoice.  I often pray…

Lord, I ask, please deliver me from the bondage of the flesh that daily bombards me.  I am daily vexed by my own flesh and the things around me that feed that.  Please deliver me from this earth-bound body that wars against my spirit.  I am yours…please take me and change me and mold me to be a vessel of honor for you.

I believe that God is able and that He delivers me from all that would seek to destroy.  He gives victory (Romans 8:31-39).  For some, deliverance may be immediate and complete in a moment, and they will no longer have to deal with the temptation or draw of that part of the flesh.  For others, it may be an ongoing vigilance and, in eternity when we have shed this corruptible tabernacle, the full deliverance from that struggle comes.

Regarding our physical life, (health, material circumstances, etc.) we can sometimes begin to believe that it is God’s will for all of us to be well and wealthy.  However, in God’s master plan, it is not deliverance in the physical realm with which He is most concerned.  As I read in verse 2, God didn’t deliver James from the oppression of the enemy in the physical realm.  At least, He didn’t deliver in the same way He did Peter.  He allowed him to be killed with the sword.  That means a violent, martyrdom, that would have been anything but pleasant.  It was probably an execution…perhaps a beheading.  Yet, we CAN say he was delivered.

This tells me that my faith isn’t all that determines my deliverance.  God’s plan and will is the overriding determiner.  The ultimate goal is God’s glory (cf. vv. 16-17 & Romans 11:33-36).  James was called one of the “Sons of Thunder,” yet he was silenced by the enemy.  Though silenced physically, his life and testimony continue to speak to us today. Perhaps this was not the end for which he had hoped, but it was within God’s plan.  Then we have Peter, the stone, who was supernaturally released from prison to continue his ministry.

Either way, these men were delivered from that which bound them.  Neither was more of a spiritual deliverance, or faith induced deliverance than the other.  They were just different and each served God’s purpose in his master plan.

The next time I tend to give in to the idea that If I have enough faith I will be delivered, or someone will be healed, or a mountain will be moved, I will be reminded that all of that, while possible and unlimited, is still within the boundaries of God’s will.  And I will always pray that God’s will be done and that He receives the glory.

How have you experienced God’s deliverance in your life?  Why do you think God’s deliverance may look different in various lives?  How do you think God’s sovereignty and your faith connect?

Blogged with the Flock Browser

3 Responses to “Silencing the Thunder and Releasing the Rock”

  1. November 13, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Excellent. I appreciate your candor and your deep spiritual maturity. So many focus on how God can make them happy instead of how we can bring Him glory. God bless you Randy.

  2. November 14, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Thanks Darryl and Eric. I’m glad you were blessed. Thanks for commenting. Give the family our love, Eric.

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