About Midnight Paul And Silas
Were Praying And Singing Hymns To God,
And The Other Prisoners Were Listening To Them
What do we do when our hostile environment seems to get the best of us? If we're like most people, we fight back, lament our losses, or just get depressed. Not Paul and Silas. They sat in a dirty Philippian jail in the dark of night singing hymns to God.
The reason they were in jail to begin with was because they were obedient to God. They cast out the demon out of the servant girl, but in doing so, they undermined an entire fortune-telling enterprise. Those who had been exploiting the girl's "talent" set them up on false charges - a reaction many people have when losing money. So Paul and Silas sat in a cell with a song in their hearts.
They could WORSHIP enthusiatically because they realised that their opponents had only seemed to get the best of them. They knew that circumstances can be misleading. They understood that the enemy's tactics are superficial scare tactics. Satan can create all kinds of situation havoc, but he cannot disturb the Spirit within us. If that's where we dwell - if we are immersed in the SPIRIT OF GOD - the difference between a five star hotel and a Greek jail cell is minimal.
Where do we dwell? If we are easily swayed by our circumstances, our quality of life will be manipulated by the enemy of God. If we live at a DEEPER LEVEL than that, grounded in the WORD OF GOD and filled with HIS SPIRIT, our quality of life cannot be shaken. Every situation will be an opportunity to WORSHIP, or at least to acknowledge the sovereignty of the Father.
This is a crucial principle to grasp if we are going to maintain our sanity in the hostile environment of a fallen world. We cannot live zealously for Jesus while living as a victim of circumstance. We have to read between the lines of our life and recognize both the enemy's surface tactics and the underlying will of God. The spiritual war requires great focus - and the ability to WORSHIP in dark places.
(an extract from Wonder Of The Cross by Chris Tiegreen)
What do we do "whenever we face trials of many kinds?" Or when we are walking through the "valley of the shadow of death?" James 1:2-3 tells us to consider it pure joy and to persevere. Paul commands us to "Rejoice in the Lord always!" (Philippians 4:4). We cannot do what Paul and Silas do if we have not been living and practising a life of praise and worship DAILY. The level of our praise and worship have to transcend beyond the weekend corporate worship. It must take DEEPER ROOT through our daily private praise (which include continually offering sacrifice of praise which is the fruit of our lips - Hebrews 13:15)
Midnight (speaks of hard times) loud (prisoners heard them) Praise and Worship are powerful:
- there was a great earthquake so that the foundations of prison were shaken
- immediately all prison doors were opened and everyone's bands were loosed
- Jailor and households were saved
The Praise & Worship Connection