“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2 (NIV UK)
Have you ever felt as if your life’s trajectory has been re-written by God? You’re not alone. Paul and Silas experienced a similar type of divine re-write when they were thrown into a Roman jail. But they didn’t let that stop them from ministering. Instead, Paul and Silas doubled their efforts, singing hymns and praying for their fellow inmates.
And you know what? God showed up in a major way. The Bible tells us that a violent earthquake shook the jail to its foundation, tearing open the prison doors and shattering the shackles that held the inmates in bondage. This unexpected miracle resulted in a prison guard asking Paul, “’What must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.’” (Acts 16:30-32)
This story is one of those great ‘what if’ moments. What if Paul and Silas hadn’t been thrown into jail? What if they hadn’t prayed? What if they’d just given up and thrown in the towel? Maybe this prison guard might never have come to know the loving mercy of our Triune God.
But with God, we don’t have to ask “What if.” We know that he is always working to bring all things back into communion with him, and that nothing in this world is wasted. God was faithful to turn Paul and Silas’s jail time to bring not only this prison guard to Christ, but also his entire family into relationship with God. I pray that the next time our lives are re-written, we take a moment and pray for God to allow us to participate in the marvellous things he is bringing together by his grace to contribute to his good purpose.
Gracious Father, at our baptism we gave ourselves into your will. Continue, we pray, your transforming work in our lives, making us of use to you as you will, and in the end bringing us home to you safely. In Jesus’ name, we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.