Day 25

A Midnight Deliverance

from the Acts reading plan

Acts 16:16-40, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 1 Peter 2:19-21

BY Abby Flynn

I’m one of those people who loves to plan. Every year, I buy a new planner thinking it will somehow change my life. (It never does.) Then there are the planning apps I use to keep track of work, the house cleaning, and what we’re eating for dinner. This all drives my husband crazy, I’m sure.

But there is only so much in life that we can actually plan and control. A planner can’t show you an unexpected phone conversation with an old friend. Or tell you the week your kids will be sick and home from school. A planner can’t show us the opportunities God will bring our way before they happen. But God often does amazing things through those unexpected detours.

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are on their way to prayer, when they encounter a detour of their own (Acts 16:16). The spirit inside the fortune-telling girl knew the truth about God’s power, and she followed them for days saying the same thing over and over. Eventually, Paul cast the spirit out of her (v.18). Her master’s response? They were furious to lose their livelihood, and took Paul and Silas to the chief magistrates, who threw them in prison (v.23). Now, Paul and Silas could choose to be angry and frustrated. They could feel bad for themselves, or stress about the fact that their plans were thrown off track. They could keep to themselves and be rude to the other prisoners. But that’s not what they did.

Instead, they used where God placed them as an opportunity.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
—Acts 16:25

In a frustrating situation, they praised God. Paul and Silas prayed. They recounted what they know about who God is. At midnight, they worshipped. The best part about this whole thing? “The prisoners were listening to them” (v.25)

Paul and Silas’s direct response to their situation was faith. And because of how they chose to respond, they end up leading an entire family to the Lord (vv.32–34). A midnight deliverance probably isn’t what anyone expected. But the unexpected is often where God shows up and does the miraculous.

Maybe you’re like me—you don’t like disruptions, distractions, or things that mess up your plans. But I’m learning that sometimes, God uses our daylight disruptions to bring midnight deliverance. That means our response matters, even in the inconvenient moments of life. Our perseverance and faith in our hopeless moments are actually a way we can bring glory to God.

In the dark spots of our life situations, in the disruptions to our best plans, we have a choice to either praise or complain. Will we be found praising God?

Post Comments (54)

54 thoughts on "A Midnight Deliverance"

  1. Ruth Long says:

    Hey Traci. I relate with how illness can change your plans in a moment. I’ve been going through an chronic illness of my own, like the woman who touched Jesus’s hem, and it has made a lot of things more difficult, and it can feel isolating, when I see that “everyone” seems to be so much healthier than me. I will keep you in my prayer Sister.❤️

  2. Debbie Dodge says:

    Me too! Amen

  3. Mary Snyder says:

    Traci, Here is something I read.

    Paul was greatly annoyed, and he did not appreciate the free advertising from the demon. He did not appreciate the source of the recommendation, and he didn’t need demonic approval of his work.

    i. Paul knew that a man will be identified by both his friends and his enemies, and could do without a demonic letter of reference. In this, Paul was like Jesus, who often told demons to be silent, even when they told the truth about Him

  4. Mary Snyder says:

    Traci, Here is something I read.

  5. Kelly says:

    Traci Gendron – if Paul were to acknowledge what the demon was saying as truth then people would believe the other things the demon said and turn from the truth of the gospel. Also fortunetelling was forbidden (Deut 18:10) and Paul would not want it to be thought she was a part of his team.

  6. Sky Hilton says:

    This section of Acts was very beautiful!

    I always loved how the disciples took their sufferings for the Lord. They didn’t do what we sometimes do, blame it on God and leave the faith. Paul and Silas singing in the prison after their suffering inspires me to worship God, no matter what I go through. Today, my knee was hurting, and instead of being annoyed at the pain or complaining about it, I took a chance to accept this suffering for Jesus. I pray that the next time we encounter suffering, we can praise and sing to God, and worship Him.. instead of letting that make us feel bitter.

    Its also pretty amazing reading someone go through a full conversion. The keeper of the prison falling down to his knees in front of Paul and Silas and asking how to be saved reminded me of one night how I kneeled in front of a last supper painting I have and asked Jesus to show me how to make myself His. Seeing God work in the keeper of the prison makes me confident that God can work in anyone.. and save them, regardless of the bad things they did.

    The Holy spirit was working that prison. That goes to show us that God never is truly far from anyone.

    I pray that all of us tonight will give all of ourselves to God.. all of our heart and soul.. like the keeper of the prison did.. and to, of course, right the wrongs we done.. like how he did.

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