“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.” – Acts 16:25-26
Is there anything in your life that you feel is keeping you prisoner? Perhaps there is a sin that you feel powerless to overcome. It doesn’t have to be what we consider a “bad” sin. Maybe you overeat, or TV has become your idol. Maybe you spend more time at work than you do in the Word, or maybe you are struggling with simply being obedient to something God has called you to do (or not do).
As humans we have a tendency to make a hierarchy for sin. Murderers and child molesters at the top followed by people who rape and steal. Then maybe we’ll put in those who commit adultery next. You get my drift.
We want to believe that the sin in our lives isn’t as bad as the sin of others. It makes us feel better. But the harsh reality is…it’s all sin. As much as we hate to admit it, those little white lies we tell are the same in God’s eyes as someone who steals or kills. But praise God for His amazing grace!
I have this “little” sin that keeps popping up in my life. I found myself last night doing the very thing I prayed I wouldn’t do that morning. I’m completely in touch with Paul in Romans 7 when he says, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (v. 15). So. Very. Frustrating.
This morning, I bowed before the LORD ashamed that I had failed Him once again. That’s when God gave me an idea.
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were imprisoned. There they sat shackled in the midst of robbers and murderers and child molesters. Did they complain? Oh, no. They prayed and sang praises to God.
I love what happens next. “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose (Acts 16:26).”
Could it be that singing praises and praying are the keys to breaking the chains of sin in our lives? What would happen if, instead of visiting that website you shouldn’t be going to, you sang praises and prayed? What if the second you wanted something sweet to eat, you praised God and asked Him to send his sweet presence to you instead?
It’s just a theory. I don’t know if it will work, but I’m willing to give it a try. What about you?