When Worship Brings Freedom

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 everyone’s chains came loose. Acts 16: 25-26

Paul and Silas have just been arrested and beaten and thrown in prison. The first remarkable part of this story is their response to this. They pray and worship God. What is our response when we are hurt or mistreated? When life is unfair to us, how do we respond?

The other part of this story that I love is that God comes in such a powerful way when they choose into worshiping Him. Often I choose out of worshiping God when my life isn’t going “my way”. But this story challenges me to imagine what God might be waiting to do in my life if I would choose in to worshiping Him. As He comes the prison doors fly open and everyone’s chains fall to the floor. Freedom often comes in worship, when we choose to focus on God and not on ourselves. Often my sin, my struggle, my junk entangles me. And the more I focus on it, usually the more bitter and angry and short tempered I become. But when we choose into worship, those things lose hold over us. We choose into our proper place in life- not focused on us, but focused on God. And God says that He inhabits the praises of His people. God is waiting to come and move in big ways in our lives, if we will stop focusing on our circumstances and begin worshiping our God.

God, I am sorry for all the ways this week I have focused on me instead of You. I am not enough to rescue me from all my junk. And focusing on “me” only entangles me in it further… I need You.
I choose in to worshiping You this week. I give You my attention. I choose to worship You. No matter what I am going through. You are worth me praying to and worshiping. You are worth my singing and dancing, in spite of my surroundings. You are worthy of all my praise. Everyday.

Diving In is our online mid-week devotional. It jumps into the message from Sunday and takes you a little deeper. Take a moment to slow down from your busy day, and hear from the Holy Spirit. We re-post every Wednesday. You can follow along by clicking the +Follow button in the bottom-right corner of your screen. Diving In is written by Erika Thornton (Pastor Jonathan’s wife). Erika loves helping other people experience who they are in Christ and helping them pursue His plans for them. In her free time she loves playing with her five kids and painting.