Looking Foolish… In Prision?

Posted: October 16, 2013 in Looking Foolish...
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extra%20foolish%20manPlease click on the Player or the Link to listen.

So what’s the difference between being God’s “fool” and just being foolish? Paul says… “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

OK, so i need to know what God’s will is. Simple enough right? Not so much sometimes. That could be a week of posts, in and of itself. For me to know God’s will i would probably be praying, reading my Bible, spending time with other believers — putting God first in my life. Paul goes on to add a few other things… “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18-20) Okay so, for me I should have no problem understanding what the Lord’s will is. All the elements Paul speaks about are active in my daily life. But I feel like there is more than just that so let’s look at a couple seemingly foolish guys.

This story comes from Acts, 16. Paul and Silas have been preaching the word in Philippi. Paul cast a demon out of a slave girl, which in turn has caused a riot. After they had been stripped and severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Talk about crazy Christians! Here they are stripped, beaten and in jail, and all they do is pray and praise God. These crazy guys travel half way around the known world, and preach about this guy Jesus — who was killed, but is now alive(???) — and now here they are in jail.

Is it too far of a stretch for me to think that obviously, they were not where God wanted them to be. After all a good Christian would never end up in jail like these guys. They are obviously not in God’s will. And making all that noise. … Foolish Christians!

But, let’s keep going with the story… Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. Wow, maybe God was listening… The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household.”

Because of faith. … Paul and Silas knew that God must have had a reason for them being there. That’s why they were praising God. It may be said that they were very foolish. But, they knew that God had a plan for them that night. Romans 8:28, says… And we have known that to those loving God all things do work together for good, to those who are called according to purpose. They listened to God’s calling and allowed themselves to be right where God wanted them to be. Because they were foolish, and got themselves flogged, and put in jail, and then were foolish enough to praise God for all this and rejoice in his presence — because of this, the message of God’s salvation was preached that night and people were saved, Also, Paul and Silas ended up with a hot meal and a nice bed to sleep in.

So. here’s the key? In every case, Noah, David, Paul and Silas and hundreds of others cases, God blessed those who were “foolish”. God blessed those who listened to him. God blessed those who praised him. And, God blessed those who trusted him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says it best. .. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and don’t depend on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct and make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

One final note. When you look at these stories — Noah, David, and Paul & Silas — I need to remember who was really the foolish person, and who was the wise person? They were doing God’s will, doing God’s work. Am I… and how about you? What was the last foolish thing you did for God?

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