No Other Name – Deliverance
“The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison and instructed the jailer to guard them securely. When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake.
Deliverance from Prison
About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened, there was suddenly such a severe earthquake that the foundations of the jail shook; all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose. When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew [his] sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, ‘Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.’ He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.’ So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house. He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once. He brought them up into his house and provided a meal and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.” Acts 16:22-34.
The scripture goes on to explain that Paul and Silas were actually Roman citizens. How frustrating it must have been for them to be accused of being something that they were not. And in addition to that, ridiculed, beaten, imprisoned, surrounded by darkness.
As we read the New Testament, we understand that Paul wrote a lot of it. Once a Christian killer, Paul was actually named Saul. As Saul, he was ruthless, what we would refer to today as a terrorist. But, on the road to Damascus, Saul had an encounter with the Lord and was converted to Christianity. He had a real experience with the Holy Spirit. Because of that experience, we have the greatest evangelist of all time, Paul.
The Lord used Paul in a mighty way for the early church. Paul wrote, “It is no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me.” And, he exemplified that statement.
In my life, I have been falsely accused, even misunderstood. I have been abused and rejected. I have experienced circumstances that held me captive, imprisoned in a situation that I, in myself, could not escape.
These were very dark times in my life.
As I reflect, I am reminded of the difference in the outcomes of such situations. The outcomes were a direct result of my behavior, my actions, and my reactions.
There was a time in my life when I was so broken and so devastated that I was angry with God. I served him for my whole life and I faced some really awful things in a horrible sequence of events.
I would have taken my life if I did not have a child that needed me. I had nothing left to give, nothing left to do. That was the lie of the enemy that almost took my life.
Through some tough times, unnecessary self-inflicted trials, I surrendered my life to the Lord again. He took me back into his arms and loved me, like a father does. He never reminded me of my wrongs, only redirected my path.
Several years later, I had a very similar set of circumstances in my life. The same abuse, the same loss, the same devastation.
However, I learned a huge lesson the first time I suffered through this. I learned that being angry with God because of my circumstances was silliness.
He gives free will, and sometimes people make very poor choices, choices that make them seem like monsters.
My free will had the right to choose how I would endure this hardship. Would I walk away from my best friend, Jesus? Would I cling tighter and expect him to deliver me however he saw fit? This time, I chose “b”. I cried, I hurt, I sought God’s face constantly, I surrounded myself with worship and those who would join me in it.
See, the enemy mistook my loyalty. He thought he could beat me up, humiliate me, bind me in chains, and keep me in darkness. But in my midnight, one of the most depression-riddled seasons of my life, my perspective changed. My behavior and actions were different.
This time, I began to worship. I began to serve God more and deeper. I sang louder and louder. I wrote music to God. I stopped praising and began worshipping. I refused to be blinded by the darkness that was so thick I could not see.
Something amazing began to happen. The chains of anxiety that bound me were being released. The prison walls of depression began to fall around me. I was free.
Like Paul and Silas, I sat there for a minute. See, the awesomeness of the freedom was not because I could now walk free from the scenario. It was awesome because even as I sat in the middle of my broken chains and darkness, I just was free. Whether walking out in the night or sitting in the middle of it, my freedom was the same.
One of the coolest points to this story is that Paul and Silas could have walked out, but they did not want their freedom to cause anyone else to stumble or to not experience freedom with them. When my deliverance began, I sat there. I waited ’til the Lord told me to go. In that time he was not only strengthening me but allowing me to be a witness to countless people.
Dear friends, your deliverance is not only for you, it is for a testimony to others who also need deliverance. Theirs may look different than yours, like the guard’s deliverance was salvation, which was different than that which Paul and Silas experienced, but there was deliverance nonetheless.
I know that when God begins to break things from us and we enjoy freedom it can be difficult to wait and allow yourself to be used in such an exhausted state. But God has a plan and we will live a beautiful life of peace when we surrender all to him.
There is no other name for deliverance than the precious name of Jesus. He makes all things new.
By Kristina Cornell
Kristina Cornell is a regular contributor to SGNScoops website.
“…I have been delivered so many times by the hand of God that any creativity that I have I only want to give back to Him. I really have nothing else to say, as I have learned that I have nothing of significance to offer of myself. I am just like everyone else, in need of a Savior. I write from my heart, I write devotionals, stories, songs, messages, even starting on a book, and all I have to offer is Jesus and what He has done in my life!” — Kristina Cornell. Visit her website at www.tellthemministries.net.
You can find out more about Kristina on Facebook HERE.
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