Wednesday, September 7

Imprisoned by Faith

Today, I’m hooking up with Bonnie Gray of FaithBarista. The topic: What season of faith are you walking through? Fall (letting go) – Winter (loss/waiting) – Spring (new starts) – Summer (embrace and celebrate).

I’ve experienced many winters of faith. Sometimes feeling imprisoned by faith...waiting, longing, wondering what will happen next. But there is one thing I have learned in the midst of it all...praise changes things, even if it is only my attitude! My praises show my trust and faith that the Lord will work out His purpose. Just as Paul and his companions...

Paul. Asleep. At night. A man appeared to him in a vision. The man pleaded, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” (Acts 16:9b Amp)

Immediately, Paul, Silas, Timothy, Luke, and possibly others set sail for Macedonia. Confident that God called them to go there and proclaim the gospel. Landing in Philippi, they stayed for several days.

And were they welcomed with open arms? Well, yes and no.

After preaching, the men baptized Lydia, a seller of purple, and her household. But then...

One day, on their way to the place of prayer, a demon-possessed slave girl, who earned money for her masters by fortune-telling, kept shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” (Acts 16:17 NLT)

After several days of this, Paul became so annoyed that he turned to her and commanded the spirit to come out of her in Jesus’ name. And it left her.

Seeing their hope for profit suddenly disappear, the owners of the slave dragged Paul and Silas before the authorities in the marketplace, charging them with troubling the city and teaching unlawful things.

Their obedience got them flogged, imprisoned, and shackled.

And what did they do? Moped, whined, complained, questioning God and shaking their fists at Him? No?

In the dark hours of night, shackled behind bars for their faith and obedience, the men lifted up sweet prayers and hymns of praise which echoed throughout the prison walls.

And what did God do? Leave them there to suffer and die? No? What did He do?

“Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.” (Acts 16:26 Msg)

Hearing the men’s praises, God released His power. He delivered them, brought them out miraculously! And sent them on their way to finish carrying out His call.

And what do I do?

Though we step out in faith, God does not always release us. He has not released me. I am here, confined in my faith, in peace, obeying what the Lord has called me to do.

The Lord showed me a long time ago that praise is the devil’s death-knell, which defined means any warning sound of death, or to ring a bell slowly, solemnly, especially at a funeral.

When praise rings its death-bell toll for the enemy, the Lord goes to work. The shackles of confinement fall away; the bars of imprisonment break apart.

No matter how things appear, if we obediently follow God’s desires, He will work out all things, for “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28 NIV)

Confined but not shackled, I praise the Lord right where I am. Imprisonment is a condition of the heart, not circumstances. Why do caged birds sing? Because their hearts are free. Songs of freedom come from the heart, not circumstances.

And what do you do?

Have you ever stepped out in faith and obedience to a command of God and all chaos broke loose? Or had some trial or unsettling condition surround you with bars of confinement?

Maybe your peace and confidence deflated like a punctured balloon. Maybe you felt shackled and held hostage like Paul. You probably doubted hearing the voice of the Lord. However, encountering contrary circumstances does not mean you misunderstood the Still Small Voice.

No, my friend, you just encountered the headwind of the enemy. In fact, that opposition can confirm a right choice. That ol’ enemy desires to thwart your obedience to God’s call whenever he can.

Peace is in your heart, not in your circumstances. So, whether you are like Paul and released or like me and still confined, begin to praise the Lord in those dark hours and watch Him go to work.

Let your imprisoned faith sing above your circumstances.


27 Responses
  1. After a winter of faith will come springtime. Renewal, rebirth, resurrection. God works that way. Lovely post!

  2. lynnmosher Says:

    So true, so true! Thanks so much, sweet Carol! I so appreciate your comments. You make my heart happy. Bless you!

  3. He leads, I follow. Hugs xo

  4. Marja Says:

    Peace is in your heart, not in your circumstances... I like that Lynn, also when we're waiting.

  5. What a wonderful article. I can so relate to it. We so often assume that being obedient to God's call on our life----professional or artistic-----that all will go smooth, and we'll never feel moments of confusion.

    I've experienced those moments of confusion and despair many times in my writing ministry. But each time I've asked the Lord if He wants me to give up, He always does something amazing to spur me on.

    Being obedient to Him is not easy, but He promises that if we are, He will bless the work of our hands, and we will see that fruit in heaven. Thank you for such an inspiring post.

    Christine Lindsay, author of Shadowed in Silk.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    A beautiful written reminder that even when we follow His voice, and He lights our path, we will still have challenges. Thankfully we can always call His name to help us through.

  7. lynnmosher Says:

    You're so right, Katie-kins! He leads, I follow! Thanks for stopping by, sweetie! Bless you!

  8. Patricia Says:

    such a truthful writing...
    and even though we choose to follow... the path is his perfect classroom setting to teach us exactly what he wants us to know.

  9. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks, my sweet friend Marja! You've been such a blessing to me since I started this blog! Love you!

  10. lynnmosher Says:

    Christine, it's so true. We expect the boat to be smooth sailing and when the boat rocks, we think we've jumped in the wrong boat! Thanks so much for stopping by. I deeply appreciate your comment! Blessings to you!

  11. lynnmosher Says:

    Yay! Another Lynn! Always love meeting another namesake! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your generous comment. Bless you!

  12. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Patricia! So nice to have you visit! God has such a great classroom, doesn't He? I just wish I'd learn His lessons a little quicker so I wouldn't fail the class and have to do it all over again! Blessings to you!

  13. Mystic_Mom Says:

    Wonderfully done, thank you for this encouraging post...much love and many bright blessings.

  14. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you, sweetie, for stopping by and commenting. So appreciated. Blessings to you!

  15. Thank you for this beautiful 'word in season' tonight Lynn, it really spoke to my heart and reignited the hope there.

  16. Terri Says:

    I love 'peace in your heart, not in your circumstances'. Beautiful post, Lynn!
    Thanks so much, too, for stopping by my blog and for your kinds words.
    God Bless!!

  17. Great post Lynn & Bonnie. I love the quote "Songs of freedom come from the heart, not circumstances." I also love the idea of the stages of faith as compared to the seasons. In my book I use a phrase "locked up to faith" with regards to my promise from God and my faith walk. Without faith it is impossible to "please God" according to Hebrews 12. Great points you two - love the piece! Blessings,

  18. lynnmosher Says:

    Wow! Thank you so much, Elizabeth! You have blessed me. Blessings to you!

  19. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Terri! Thank you so much for the return visit. I so appreciate your comment. Bless you!

  20. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Deborah! Love your "locked up to faith." Great concept, isn't it? Thank you for being such a sweet friend. Blessings to you!

  21. Lynn,

    I loved this post! I especially love the way you said, "Imprisonment is a condition of the heart, not circumstances."

    Life can be hard, but God never stops being good!

    Everything for His glory! Everything to His praise!

    Love you Lynn!

  22. Am totally enthralled by the ideas of seasons of faith - have heard of that before but you know how these things go, some days you are just open for the message in new and powerful ways. Thanks!

  23. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, dear, Stephanie! I missed your comment. Forgive me! Thanks so much, sweetie! And amen to what you said! Blessings to you!

  24. lynnmosher Says:

    Hello there, Annie/Helen! So glad to see you. Yes, I thought the seasons of faith was a great idea as well. So happy you dropped by! Thanks for the comment. Blessings to you!

  25. Nancy Says:

    Hi Lynn,

    I know I don't comment here often but wanted you to know that I so enjoy visiting here. I am always lifted up when I come here.
    What a great quote "peace is in your heart, not your circumstances" true and I'm so thankful to be reminded of this.

    Thank you Lynn!


  26. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, sweet Nancy, I am so honored and happy to have you visit and comment. Thank you so much. Bless you!

  27. Anna Popescu Says:

    Hi Lynn!

    Thanks for sharing this with us. The thing that stood out most to me was "Have you ever stepped out in faith and obedience to a command of God and all chaos broke loose?"

    Oh, yes, that has definitely happened to me, and I'm here to say that when God calls us to serve Him -- even when we feel completely unprepared or unworthy for the task, or should I say ESPECIALLY then -- He will equip us not only for the task but for any "chaos" that the enemy might try to thwart our efforts. Prayer, prayer, and more prayer!!!

    Love you and your work for the Kingdom!

    Anna Popescu