by Rick Warren — April 17, 2019
“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 16:26 NIV).
It’s particularly true when we find ourselves locked up in prisons of our own making, like a habit we can’t escape or a dead-end relationship that’s keeping us from God’s best or fear that keeps us from taking an important step in life.
If that’s where you find yourself today, you may not be behind physical bars, but you’d might as well be. God always wants you to live in freedom, so God sends an earthquake.
God did this for the apostle Paul. In Acts 16, Paul was in a real, physical prison. And he needed a miracle to get out of it—so that’s what God gave him.
The Bible says, “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 16:26 NIV). As the walls came down, Paul walked out of prison.
Sometimes God must also shake your foundations to set you free. You’ll lose a job. A treasured relationship will end. A health crisis will arrive. That’s when you start re-examining what you believe about yourself, about others, and about God.
Maybe you’re in the midst of one of these situations right now. You’re tempted to think that God has forgotten you or that he is upset with you.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes God sends an earthquake into your life because he loves you, not because he is angry with you.
God uses earthquakes to shake us up—and then to set us free.
So try this: Instead of letting an earthquake in your life create distance between you and God, let it start a time of reflection.
Ask God, “What prison can this earthquake free me from?”
And then watch the walls come down.
If you’re tired of being in prison and you want to walk through the door to freedom, you can pray a simple prayer of belief today. Just say, “Lord, I bring you the things that have imprisoned me, things I’ve been ashamed of, regrets, resentments, and worries. I don’t want to live that way anymore. I want to live a life of freedom. Today, I want to walk through the door of freedom—your Son, Jesus Christ. As much as I know how, I want to follow you. I ask you to come into my life and fill me with your love and your Spirit. Push all the fear out. Push all the pain out. Fill me with a new sense of hope. I don’t want to live in prison anymore. I want to walk through the doors of opportunity that you have planned for me. I’m asking you today to save me and to accept me into your family. I ask this in your name. Amen.”
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at [email protected] and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.