Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals;” and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” (Acts 12:7-8, NKJV)
I’m guessing most of us haven’t been physically struck by an angel of the Lord. Imagine the confusion Peter must have felt! But he rallied well, and when the angel released him from his chains and told him to follow, he did. He immediately went to where they were praying for him to tell them what had just happened.
Peter didn’t just walk into the house after his release from prison. He had to knock several times before someone answered the door, and he had to identify himself amidst the door answerer’s disbelief. Then, once he was let in, he had to explain how the angel of the Lord had led him out of prison. They had difficulty believing what they were praying for because it came a different way than they expected.
Removing our bonds and chains is not enough; we must be willing to remove ourselves from the prison.
The angel removed Peter’s chains, which was something Peter could not do, but then the angel expected Peter to walk out of the prison, something he could do.
That’s what repentance is. We must be sorry for our sins so God can forgive us, which is something we cannot do for ourselves. But then we must turn away from that sin, which is something we can do. It won’t be easy, and we’ll need God’s strength, but WE must do it.
Once God has done the impossible, we must do the possible. Walk out of your prison a freed child of the King!
Prayer: Dear Lord, I often live bound by the chains of my sin in a prison I have made. Thank you, Lord, for being a merciful God. I repent of my sins and ask that these chains be broken in Jesus’ name, and I WILL walk freely in the path of YOUR will, not mine. Praise the Lord! Amen.