God has a special place in His heart for those in captivity. He delights in setting free those held against their will, as well as those who don’t even realize they are bound in chains. Psalm 68:6 says, “…He leads out the prisoners into prosperity…” Isaiah 61:1 says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me…[He has sent me] to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” And then in Luke 4:21, Jesus, Himself, said about the prophecy in Isaiah, “…Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” It was Jesus whom the world awaited, to be set free! Amen! But…..once Jesus arrived, and souls were set free, those who proclaimed the Good News were put into literal chains, imprisoned and held for declaring that freedom.
It is no different today. Many are held in chains, thrown into pits and live with the constant threat of death because Satan wants the world held in chains- whether spiritually or physically- or both. Yet, people are coming to Christ in increasing numbers, in some of the spiritually darkest places on earth even though they are beheaded, set on fire, dismembered and tortured. It defies reason! In the days of the Roman Colosseum, Christians were thrown to the lions and history records them singing hymns to God. Paul and Silas were imprisoned during that same era and Acts 16:25 notes that, “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.”
You worship because that’s what you were made to do, and because the bad in life doesn’t negate God’s goodness or make Him any less worthy of praise than when life was good.
So, why does the caged Christian sing? Because worship has nothing to do with where you are right now. Maybe you’re not in a literal prison, but you might be in a spiritual prison, held in chains against your will in addiction, or pain or unforgiveness. Maybe you’re in emotional chains because of what someone did to you, or said to you or because you were disappointed or betrayed. Prison or not, worship is an adoration of God, of ministry to Him.Worship is about God, not you. If you love and adore the Lord, you worship. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re going through. You worship because that’s what you were made to do, and because God asked you to, and because the bad in life doesn’t negate God’s goodness or make Him any less worthy of praise than when life was good.
Thought for today
Psalm 102:19-22 says, “For He has looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven the Lord looked down on the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoners and to set free those who are appointed to death, that they may declare the name of the Lord in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem.” He hears you. He is looking at you. He will set you free, but it can’t stop there! There is a reason God loves the captives so much: He is hoping that with the same passion you longed for freedom, you will long for Him– the One who set you free. “…that they may declare the name of the Lord in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem.” Anyone can worship after a miracle, but the people who worship while in captivity are those whose worship grabs God’s immediate attention. Which are you?