Archive for April, 2015

This Sunday I am starting a new teaching series “Chains”. I am very excited about the potential of this teaching. I believe many can be set free as a result of the truths and principles shared. This is a little glimpse into this week’s message. Hopefully this will encourage and inspire you creating anticipation for Sunday.

The story of Paul and Silas in acts 16 is the back drop for us learning how to overcome our circumstances and experience freedom. Have or maybe you are right now going through something that causes you to say “I can’t believe this is happening to me”. Paul was experiencing a real move of God, people were saved, set free, demonic deliverance, and lives changed. Of course a move of God always brings opposition and a demon possessed, fortune telling girl, had been harassing Paul and Silas and he got tired of it and commanded the demon to come out of her. It did come out, but the problem is she could no longer tell fortunes and her owners got upset because she was their cash cow. These men trumped up some charges and got others to lie about Paul and brought him before the dignitaries, as a result he and Silas were cast into jail. This is Paul’s circumstance in Acts 16.

Paul & Silas Were…

Harassed by demonic activity.
(Acts 16:16-) “Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.”

Seized and Dragged.
(Acts 16:19) “When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.”

Lied About.
(Acts 16:20-21) “They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

Severely Flogged.
(Acts 16:22-23a) “The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged,”

Put in the inner prison.
(Acts 16:23b-24a) “They were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell…”

Chained.
(Acts 16:24b) “…and fastened their feet in the stocks.”

HOW TO HAVE FREEDOM OVER YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES

Freedom begins when I focus on Jesus.
“Do not view God through your circumstances; but view your circumstances through God”
Stop tunnel vision! When we only look at our problems they get bigger and God seems to get smaller. We question his love and care for us. If we only look at our problems we become bitter, but when we focus on Jesus things get better.

Remember Jesus is greater than my circumstances.
(Acts 16:25) “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”
When we focus on Jesus it creates Hope, because we remember that Jesus is greater than our circumstances. He can handle this.

Go from worry to worship.
Worry and worship cannot occupy the same space and times. It is amazing how worshiping God drives away worry. Please remember others are watching, just like the prisoners watched Paul & Silas.

Brace for an earthquake.
(Acts 16:26a) “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.”
When you worship it moves the heart of God and gets his attention. Worship creates movement and God is gonna shakes things up.

Walk out in freedom.
(Acts 16:26b) “At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.”
God will overcome our circumstances and we can experience freedom. Just think about this, not only did Paul & Silas get to go free, but the other prisoners did also. Others become the beneficiary of God’s activity in our life. So, you’re in a bad circumstance, get your eyes on Jesus and worship him. He will shake things up and help you rise above your circumstance.