"About midnight Paul and Silas
were praying and singing hymns to God,
and the other prisoners were listening to them."
- Acts 16:25 -
What do you do when your hostile environment seems to get the best of you? If you're like most people, you fight, lament your looses, 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 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 loosing money. So Paul and Silas sat in a cell with a song in their hearts.
They could WORSHIP enthusiastically because they realized that their opponents had only seemed to get the best of them. They knew that circumstances can be mis-leading. They understood that the enemy's tactics are superficial sacre tactices. Satan can create all kinds of situational 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 you dwell? If you are easily swayed by your circumstances, your quality of life will be manipulated by the enemy of God. If you live at a deeper level than that, grounded in the WORD OF GOD and filled with HIS SPIRIT, your 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 you are going to maintain your sanity in the hostile environment of a fallen world. You cannot live zealously for Jesus while living as a victim of circumstance. You have to read between the lines of your 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