Steven Furtick - Knock Knock
The message that I have to share with you comes from Acts 12. And why I want to share this passage today is because God told me to. How's that? No other logic, no other reason. But just I found myself coming to this passage for our time together today and I want you to give it your attention. This story in the Bible may relate to the situation in your life. Acts 12: 1, "It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belong to the church intending to persecute them". He intended to persecute them. And yet God's purpose will always overrule people's intentions.
And no matter what people do to you, no matter what people conspire against you, all of it is working for the purpose of the God who is greater than any person. That's what it means to say if God is for me, who can be against me? You can try to stand against me, but in the end it will be God's purpose for me that will prevail. How many believe that? How many believe that? Now, ya'll gotta calm down because that was one verse and it's a long chapter. I'm just so glad to be back, I love the Bible. It says that, Herod intended to persecute them.
And it says in verse 2, "he had James, the brother of John put to death with the sword. When he saw that this pleased the Jews and gained him political clout he proceeded to cease Peter also. This happened during the feast of unleavened bread. And after arresting him he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers. Herod intended to bring him to public trial after the Passover". So, verse 5, "Peter was kept in prison but the church was earnestly praying to God for him".
And, so, now we've got a show down. It's Herod's prison versus the church's prayers. It's a cage match between Herod's intention and God's purpose. And it says that they were earnestly praying to God. It doesn't mean that they were saying one of those nice, quiet, whispered prayers. It means that they wouldn't stop. It means that even though it hurt they prayed. Even though they were disappointed they prayed. Even though they had no clue if it was working they prayed. It's the same word that describes prayer when Jesus knelt in the garden of Gethsemane and said, "not what I will, but what you will be done".
They prayed like that. It's a kind of prayer that Jesus described in Matthew 7:7. He said, "Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you". That's my topic for today. The title of this message is "Knock Knock". Look at your neighbor and say, "Who's there"? You may be seated. You may be seated.
One of the weird things about living with other human beings in the same house is the idiosyncrasies that you notice about them whether you want to or not. Oh, that sounded tender. External processor over here, watch out. Yeah, because like my kids I can tell which one of them is knocking on the door just by the way they knock. Just by how they use their knuckles. I know my kids by their knock. Isn't that weird as a parent? You learn to identify which kid because Abby has a very polite knock. It's a very gentle knock. It's a very delicate knock. It's a beautiful knock. It's a knock that says, "if you have the time to open the door, and this is the opportune time, would it be possible that you do so"? It's just a very gentle knock. It's a tender knock.
And then um, Elijah was totally different. Now he's very chill, but when he was smaller, his knock was undeniable. Meaning, he's not stopping until you open the door. And even back then he's actually really good at making beats. And he's making a lot of beats these days. Do the Dash on YouTube, by the way, you owe me for that. That's a big plug, man. This is international. But when you used to knock on the door, you used to make beats on the door. That's when you started making your beats just on the door. And they were relentless. I mean, he's not stopping it's like a trap beats on the door just to get him to let you in.
But then Graham, Graham is the one who doesn't knock and you don't even know he was at the door until three weeks later when he says something that he overheard in the conversation that he wasn't supposed to hear. And you know, because you get to know somebody when you living with them, you can tell who's at the door just by how the knocks sounds. Living in relationship with God you learn to discern when it's him knocking and if you don't, you'll open the door to people who don't have the best intentions in mind. And you'll open the door to the enemy who may bring you what you want in your feelings that is destructive to your faith. And, if God lives in your heart over time, you'll learn to discern his knock.
At first you think God knocks with a sledgehammer because that's what church teaches you about God pretty early on, at least in the southeastern United States if it's a fired up church they teach you about God coming through the door. You know, have you ever seen this kind of God? He is a battering ram and people say things like, oh, I loved that sermon today, pastor. God was just kicking my butt all over the place. And, yet, you learned that when you really live with God his knock doesn't take much because you know his knock. Knock knock. Knock knock.
And, you also learned that a lot of times what you will initially think is the devil knocking on your door to attack you is actually God knocking on your door to develop you. And what knocks on the door looking like trouble sometimes is training to teach you to trust in God. And this takes time walking with God to learn that sometimes even if you don't like what's standing at the door, when you hear the knock, that by the time God gets done working in your situation that even what the enemy meant for evil God will turn it for good. And it enables you to live with the kind of faith that is very peculiar to people who think that everything that God brings into your life looks nice because sometimes when you pray for an opportunity you'll be surprised to open the door and find opposition instead.
Have you ever prayed for patience? That's a dumb idea. I never pray for patients because I know exactly what God is going to send to the door if I do, trouble. God is going to send something to get on my nerves so bad. God is going to send a bad driver in front of me on Providence Road with an elevation sticker. The other day I was coming to church and I was singing in the car, and I was singing this "I'm gonna see your victory" or something like that, one of these good songs that we sing around here. And the person in front of it was such a bad driver. I lost all of the Holy Spirit. I lost 12 percent of my anointing per minute that I was behind this person. And I was so mad I came right up on them. And then I passed him and I slow down just to teach him a lesson. And then they turned into the parking lot with me and they were coming to church and they were a volunteer.
So, I'm haven to learn that you might not like the package that your prayer requests shows up in when it comes to your door. Knock knock. But no matter the delivery system you can trust that God is the one who is super intending. Now, the early church had to believe this in a way that very few of us were allowed to, lay hold of it because they were experiencing such a time of persecution and a time where they had to trust God for their very provision, especially in Jerusalem. There's a famine in chapter 11, they are taking up offerings just so the church can make it. And around about that time they getting the famine sorted out.
The writer here Luke of Acts says about that same time he connects the events. He said, while there dealing with the famine on one hand, they have to deal with the fight on the other hand and now Herod starts throwing their leaders in jail. Some of the disciples, if they were thrown in jail you probably wouldn't miss them because Bartholomew really, you know, I'm sure he's a good guy, but James is one of the three. When Jesus got ready to go up on the mountain and transfigure in front of them to reveal his glory, James, John, and Peter got to go up and see him. What one of the sons of Zebedee, the sons of thunder, James was one of the guys and he's dead. And now they've got Peter too.
And, remember, Peter is their preacher. And, so, it's one thing to lose James, it's painful, but to lose Peter threatens the very purpose of God. And there's so much opportunity because the kingdom of God is spreading and advancing and there's so much opposition. And there's so much opportunity and there's so much opposition. Don't you know that when opportunity comes to the door, opposition comes with it? Don't you know that sometimes they are one in the same? This is what I'm learning. I'm learning that a lot of times when I open the door and see something that I would love to send away in my life, a challenge that I wish didn't come, it is actually the opportunity for God to teach me to trust him.
Kind of hard to say Amen to that because usually you want God to knock and come in with the flower bucket. It's kind of hard to know that is God knocking unless you walk with him for a while. And then you hear the knock the next time and you know whatever is at the door, even if God didn't send it, he's going to use it. And the church is praying for Peter but they're still broken hearted about James. Did you notice that part in the passage where it said that he had just killed James with the sword? That means he cut his head off. That means he was coming after the head; he was trying to stop the movement of Christianity because he knew it would appease the Jews. And he knew that in this great time of opportunity for the church it was a time of opportunity for him to advance his human agenda.
And, so, the church is praying, the church is knocking on the door of heaven asking God to do something in the situation. And Peter is in prison while the church is praying. Now, one interesting thing about this text, is it all right if I teach the Bible for a minute? Okay. Because it's interesting to note that Peter has no idea at this moment what the people are doing, and the people have no idea how Peter is doing. Sometimes you got to pray by faith not even knowing if it's doing any good in your life. And, sometimes the proof that your prayers and faith are working is that the opposition increases. Good God help me get this message to the back row. Because somebody has been wondering is God even still with me? Is God using me? Is this even worth it?
But there's something about that that should let you know that if the devil showed up in the first place, there must be something important, and he must be defending his territory or else he wouldn't bother with you. So, Peter was in prison but the church was praying. And now will be a good time for us to check on Peter, right? We know what the church was doing, they gather together for prayer meeting and they got in their they started joining their faith together. And Peter is in prison and he's just hours away from his trial. And if it turns out the same way that James has turned out, this will be his last night on the planet. So, it's that kind of pressure. Let's see what he's doing. Let's check in on a nanny cam on Peter, the rock. Let's check on Peter on the eve of his potential, probable execution, verse 6. "The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was"...
I need somebody to fix that in the back. That can't be what the verse says. How are you going to sleep? When your life is on the line? Ya'll need to fix that verse because it's not possible, is it? The night before Herod was to bring him to trial Peter was what? Pacing? Praising? Praying? How can you sleep at a time like this? That really got me, 'cause I did not expect Peter to be sleeping at this moment. Let me tell you this right now and this is just a confession. There is not enough Lunesta in the pharmacy. There is not enough Ambien on earth that I could sleep, especially after what happened to James. Especially knowing this might not turn out well. We pray for James and look what happened to him and now they got me too.
"And Peter", put it back up there, "is sleeping between two soldiers". How about that? Have you ever had to sleep in between? Come on, ya'll, I came back to preach. I didn't come back to have coffee. Have you ever had to sleep between, I don't know how this is going to turn out, but I have to sleep in between? I have to sleep, I don't really know if this situation is going to get better or what the doctors going to say next time I go back, but I have to sleep in between. I'm in a tight space and I don't know if I'm going to make it out, but I've got to sleep in between.
Peter was sleeping in between. No, he's come a long way, hasn't he? Remember when Jesus was telling Peter you've got to go to the cross and Peter's arguing with Jesus. And he's trying to tell Jesus, you'll never go to the cross. He's trying to get Jesus his plan for Jesus. He's trying to create the itinerary for the son of God who created time and space and he's sleeping? What did Peter know that enabled him to sleep between two soldiers? He was sleeping. Put it back up, I'm not done with that verse. He was sleeping. In the greatest trial of his life he was sleeping between two soldiers bound with two chains.
Some scholars think that little Wayne could have been in the next cell. A lot of people were there. And centuries stood guard at the entrance. And, so, he was sleeping. What did he know that enabled him to sleep in between? Maybe, suggestion, he wasn't sleeping because of something he knew with his senses, maybe he was sleeping because of something that he saw in his spirit. And maybe what he saw in his spirit was a direct reflection of an experience that he had with Jesus. Because, remember, in the boat one night when they were going to the other side, but then in between where they were and where they were going they hit a storm. Sometimes you set out for the destination, but it's in between that your faith has to kick in to believe God.
And when all the disciples were straining, the Bible says they were straining at the oar, they were straining against the wind, they were straining against the waves. And while they were straining they went down to check out Jesus. And they were surprised to find out that while they were straining, Jesus were sleeping. So, maybe when Peter found out they might kill me he decided there's only so much I can do about this. And when I get to the other side I'm going to need all my strength so I'm going to sleep in between.
This is God's word for somebody. God said, I can do more while you're sleeping thing you can do while you're straining. And if you will get out of the way and out of your flesh, and out of your anxiety... The disciples said, "Jesus, don't you care, we are in the storm"? Jesus said, "this is how I fight my"... My friend Joseph Prince says, RIP, Rest Is Power. And, so, it's a beautiful picture that he would sleep and trust God when Herod comes knocking. Peter's fate answers the door. Knock knock, they're coming to get you Peter. But he's learned something. He's learned that obedience always comes before freedom.
Now, I mention this because I see a lot of people on Instagram, I haven't been on Instagram in two months. And let me tell you, it's amazing. The birds are chirping, the sun is beautiful. You'd be shocked how nice the world looks when there's not a screen in front of your face. A pretend universe. Just a thought. I've had a great summer. I got tan, I detoxed from everybody's pretend life and I'm just happy about it. And then Peter has to do something that's very difficult to do because we all want opportunities to come our way. And opportunities are weird because they don't show up looking like opportunities when they knock. They just look like obedience.
Everybody will say, "I want to kill my Goliath, I want to take down my giants". You know, in church we say stuff like that great probably don't say that if they don't go to church. But, you know, Goliath didn't come knocking on David's door. "Hey, David, I'm Goliath. If you kill me today you can become the king of Israel and have great status and wealth". None of that's true. David's dad came to his door said get this bread down to your brothers. Because when opportunity knocks it just looks like obedience. That's all it looks like. It doesn't look like something big; it doesn't look like something extraordinary.
Now, Peter's about to get a big miracle but I want you to notice how he gets it. And most of us would not have gotten it. Because, spoiler alert, Peter's about to get out of jail. He's not going to die, he's got a work to do. Peter's not going to die in this moment because God still has a purpose because Peter is invincible until God's purpose for him is completed. And, so, Peter's not going to die in this but he doesn't know that yet. As far as he knows it's over but he sleeping. And, so, while he's asleep, look at verse 6 and how God interrupts his, what you call it, REM cycle because Peter's in a deep sleep. I'll show you in a minute. It's in the text.
The Bible is so fun to read. I want you to read it between Sundays. It's real good. It's real good without me here talking about it. It's real good. So, it says, "Suddenly", verse 7, just like in a deep sleep, Ah! "Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared", and he didn't knock, he just came in, "and a light shown in cell. It struck Peter on the side and woke him up". And I guess Peter wasn't all the way awake because the angel said, "Quick, get up". And the chains fell off Peter's wrist.
Now, please leave that verse on the screen because I want to show you something. It said, "quick, get up, and the chains fell off Peter's wrist". Now, the natural sequence would be the chains fell off Peter's wrist and so he got up. But it doesn't say that. It says that the angel told him get up, and when he got up the chains fell off his wrist. You see it? So, we think the chains are going to fall off and it's going to get easier and we are going to feel free, and then we can obey God. No, "You get up and then chains fell off". Because obedience comes before freedom.
You've got to answer the door and knock, even if you're not sure it's God. You've got to be kind to people, even if you don't know if they're going to do anything for you in return. It's obedience that creates freedom. Freedom from what? Freedom from needing to know the outcome before you take the step. So if he doesn't get up the chains stay on. And if you don't do what God has told you to do right now, God can't do what he's going to do, that you don't know he's going to do. God already intended to take his chains off, but if he waits 'til the chains fall off to get up, he's never going to get up because the chains...
"When I get my financial situation in order, I'll tell you, I'm gonna put God first because I've heard about that and praising the Lord and putting him first with the first fruits of my womb, and all the things that the Bible says, I'm going to do it" - no, you're not. Not if you won't do it with the little, because he who is faithful in a little... so is that first step, it's getting up, get up, and the chains will fall off, get up. And you say, God take the chains off and I'll get up. No, get up, and the chains will fall off.
And I love this part, because there is no indication in this text that Peter had faith to be free from prison. All he's doing is going through the motions. And sometimes that's all you can do. Sometimes all you can do is come to church and fake I mean, faith it until you feel it. Now, most of us wouldn't have gotten a miracle if we were in Acts chapter 12. If we were in here to grip of the first prison, we'd stay right there. Because we wouldn't follow instructions until we knew details. It'd be like, "Get up". "Why"? "Who are you"? "Let me see some identification". No, no, no. Is this God? Is this? No, you just gotta get up. And when you're in a place of rest, you're able to respond without over thinking it. Just get up.
Some of y'all think too hard when we're worshiping in here. You know, you're thinking too hard. You're think it too hard. "I'm gonna see your victory". I can't sing that, I don't know if I really am. You need to start singing it, so you can start seeing it, because faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seeing. So help me show 'em God, the old Peter, remember the old Peter who argued all the time, the old Peter would have been like, "Get up for what? Go out for what? I don't understand, I was getting some sleep. Why are you interrupting my sleep? I'm trying to get a good night's sleep. I got a big day tomorrow. It's a really important day. I need to be sharp so I can defend myself". But he just did it in this place.
In fact, that's exactly what the Bible said. It said, "'Quick get up.' and the chains fell off", Acts 12:8, "and then the angel said to him, 'Put on your clothes and sandals'", he has still not told him his destination, but faith is getting dressed even when you where you're going. And Peter did so. He got dressed with no destination. Is this God? I hope so. No details. Just obedience. Knock, knock. Hey Peter, get up, get dressed. You know how God knocks, just little things, and you know it's him, you know it's him. Just little things. The littlest thing can happen. Get up, get dressed, put on your cloak and sandals. To me it was, this whole thing seems like very small. Like I don't mind getting out of here in my underwear if we're getting out of prison.
Why am I getting dressed for it? But, that's us trying to make sense of things. This is a different kind of freedom. This is not a freedom that can be achieved in your mind. "The angel said to him, 'Put on your clothes and sandals', and Peter did so". Just that simple. "'Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,' the angel told him", and notice what Peter didn't ask. Where are we going? Just followed. Just following Grace, I'm just following mercy. I'm just following, cooperating with God. I'm getting my heart in harmony with what he's doing in this season. I'm coming into agreement and acceptance of the situation that he is placed me in step by step.
You know the thing on your GPS where, you know, if you put it on, at least on mine, I use Google Maps, looking for a sponsorship, where it just tells you the next turn? But then if you click on it and you can 'See Details', and that'll tell you every turn. And for somebody like me, that has no sense of direction, I never put on the details, because it'll get me lost. I can't think seven turns ahead. I just need to know the next one. We all like sheep, have gone astray. And so all Peter has to do is the next thing. That's all you have to do, the next thing. Anything else is too much right now.
You don't have to be Peter to be in prison. You don't have to be some important apostle to be in prison. Addiction is a prison. Depression is a prison. You don't have to be Peter to be in prison. Mind sets are a prison, rumination is a prison, trauma can be a prison, isolation can be a prison. Never really engaging in real relationships can be a prison. Hiding and concealing, it can be a prison. But if you've been in prison lately, all you need to do is, the next thing. You can't predict the path of your freedom, you can only respond to the light that you have, that's shown in yourself.
And so when Peter got up, this is a very profound moment in Peter's life and he doesn't know it yet, for all he knows he's just dreaming. He doesn't even know yet, read it in the passage with me, "Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening, he thought he was seeing a vision". You know, most of the time you don't even know that it was God until after the fact? While you're in it, it feels so confusing and so uncertain and you're like, "I don't even know! I don't know what this is right now".
It is only after you have been through it that Romans 8:28 makes sense and then you can say, "All things work together for the good". But it's hard to say that in the process of it, and Peter's, just going through the motions, he's just worshiping, he's just moving, he's just obeying, he's just doing the next practical thing. And then he kind of, has this moment, when "He passes", Acts 12:10, "the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city and", watch what happened to the gate, "It opened for them by itself". You know, God will do for you what you can't do for you? Now, y'all aren't gonna clap for this one, but he won't do for you what you can do for you.
So, God opened the gate for Peter, but watch what Peter did, when they had walked through it. "They walked through it". Angel didn't carried Peter through the gate. Peter's too big to be carried through the gate now. You got to go through it. Do me a real, true, favor. Look at your neighbor with eye contact say, "You got to go through it". You know how many people, that are listening to me preach right now, are standing and knocking at the door that's already open? The gate was open. You can stand there and knock all you want, but you got to go through it and every second we spend not going through it, every second that we spend wishing that it wasn't there, every second we spend waiting for something miraculous to happen, it already happened. It already happened.
The worst thing that could happen, already happened on the cross. It was already transformed into resurrection power in your spirit. So it already happened. It's already open, but you've got to go through it and when you go through it, that is the proof that you trust God, even while you're in it. That you stay in the fight, that you stay in the furnace, and you still survive, and he walked through the gate. Now the power of God did not prevent the attack, but it protected Peter within it, and it enabled him to go through it. God is going to get me through this. I don't know how, I don't know when, but God is going to get me through this. The gate is open. The way is made. Faith has already provided for me the grace that I need.
"And when they had walked the length", Acts 12:10b, "of one street, suddenly the Angel left them". And now he's got to figure out where to go and suddenly he wakes up. And he comes to this moment, that I believe we come to sometimes when, when God knocks on our situation, or when the enemy knocks to come get us, but God won't let him. He comes to this realization, he's like, "I gotta go". And I wonder what door he's gonna knock on. See, it's really important that you know where to knock when you're in trouble. That's how some of us got our hearts broken and our minds messed up, because we knocked on the wrong door.
And you know what? What's really weird about it? Sometimes, we run back to the same door that disappointed us last time. Knocking on it, as if there's anything inside. That, that's crazy. And Christians will do this, they'll pray the devil away and he knocks on the door, leave it wide open for him to come in and put out a fruit basket and welcome him as a guest with a monogrammed towel, just leaving yourself wide open to everything. But when you run around knocking on the wrong doors, and the wrong people, and the wrong patterns, and you keep going back to that place. It's very important that you know where to knock.
And thank God that Peter knew where to knock. See, he knew about John Marks, mother's house. Apparently, this was the same place that they had been praying for James. And he knew that if he would knock on that door, there would be some praying people. I want to say something to everybody who came to church today, okay? I don't know what your life is like right now and I don't know what you need God to do, but you knocked on the right door today, because everything you need is in the presence of God. Come on, look at somebody and say, "You knocked on the right door today". God has got what you need. The fridge is full. The bed is made. There's a prayer meeting going on. There's a fire in the kitchen.
So, watch this. I gotta show you something. Somebody say, "Knock knock". "Peter said, 'Now I know without a doubt it was the Lord coming into my prison cell. It wasn't Herod's intention that brought me here, it was God's purpose. The Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything that Jewish people were anticipating'". You know what he was saying? Herod came knocking. He came to get me. It came to kill me, but it couldn't have me. That's how I know God was with me, because it came for me, but it couldn't kill me. It came for me, but it couldn't take me out. It came for me, but it couldn't have me and now I know that God was with me. "When this had dawned on him", Acts 12:12, "he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying".
Isn't it amazing that they were still praying, still asking, still seeking, still knocking? Because like really, I don't know if I would have. If I prayed for James and they cut his head off, I don't know if I would have faith to pray for Peter. I think a lot of us pray for things, or hope for things, or secretly wish for things, that we really don't believe could even happen. We sing things that we no longer believe really happened. We sing of freedom, but we've learned a long time ago to stop dreaming about it. And, and Peter is out of prison. But they don't know it yet. But they're still praying.
Oh that takes faith, man. It takes faith to pray for Peter when you just lost James. It takes faith to believe in this situation, because you know, when you've seen him move the mountain and you believe he can do it again, that's one thing. But when that mountain's still there, and you got to pray about that one, this is a difficult moment. And yet it didn't stop their prayer, it didn't stop their persistence, it didn't stop... So, so, so Peter shows up, and they're still praying. "And when he got there", Acts 12:13, the Bible says "Peter", my knuckle is so sore, I might have to ice it before the 11:30, "Peter", well come on this is Peter, you all know Peter's loud. Peter's not knocking like Abby, Peter's banging on the door 'cause they're still looking for him, he just broke out of prison.
You knock different when you're desperate. You pray different when you know you need God. "Peter knocked at the outer entrance and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door". While they were praying for Peter, and exact the door, their prayer request is standing in the form of an answer on the other side of the door. "And when", look at Acts 12:14, "when she recognized Peter's voice", I think she recognized his knock. Nobody knocking as loud as Peter. Nobody knocks like Peter. Nobody is persistent like Peter. Nobody makes it through denying them three times and comes back to preach on Pentecost, my failures taught me persistence. Nobody knocks like Peter. Nobody knocks like the one who knows that even through my mistakes, God is working miracles in this moment. Nobody knocks like Peter.
"And when she recognized his voice, she was so overjoyed that she ran back without opening it and told the people, 'Peter is at the door. It's peter, y'all. Hey guys it's Peter. Hey guys, it's Peter'", wrote as a 14-year old, white girl in my mind. "Hey guys it's Peter". And watch what they said, "You're out of your mind". Well, that's a compliment, because my mind has been my prison all along. That's what I've been trying to get, is out of my mind. That's what's making me miserable, being in my mind and my thoughts, "For His thoughts are higher than my thoughts and His ways are higher than my ways". I'm outta my mind. "Rhoda said, 'No, no'". She kept insisting that it was so, and they said, that's how much faith they had, "'It must be his angel'".
It was easier for them to believe that Peter died and his angel came to the door, that it was actually him. Sometimes it is easier for you to believe that you are worthless, it is easier for you to believe that it's over, than it is for you to believe that dry bones can live again at the word of the Lord. "But Peter kept on knocking".
And I hear God is saying to somebody today, "Don't stop knocking, you're at the right door". Don't stop knocking, just because Rhoda ran back and the people didn't believe. God can use even the imperfect faith of a hurting church, to break Peter out of prison. And if you keep knocking, and if you keep asking, yeah, I know you don't have the answers yet, but now you're learning the questions. If you keep seeking, and if you keep knocking, I declare in the name of Jesus, Peter is at the door. Peter is at the door. And the only way for you to find out is to open it. But when James died, you stopped believe it.
In this season of your life, I believe Revelation 3:20, "That Jesus stands at the door and knocks". I would like to think that today, somewhere in this building, online, at one of our locations that meet, all across this nation, I have to believe that God is knocking on the door of someone's faith, to believe again in an area of your life where it has been easier for you to just lock the door. And you've just been going through motions, just kind of holding to the facade of your faith, but I sense that the Spirit of the Lord, knock, knock. Who's there? Peter said, "Boo". Rhoda said, "Boo who"? Peter said, "Don't cry. I'm alive". Open the door in this moment.
Yeah, it's hard to trust people again when people have let you down. But what are you going to do? Stay in there and die and just pretend like you're living and really on the inside - No, "I stand at the door and knock and if you will open the door to me", Jesus said, "I will sit down and I will eat with you and I have prepared a table for you in the presence of your enemies, and I am your shepherd, and I am your angel, and I am your light, and I am your defender, and I am your hope, and I am your promise, and upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it, for I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning in the end, the first and the last. I died and I lived".
Peter is at the door. 'Cause guess what church? At the end of Acts chapter 12 Peter wasn't dead, Herod was. 'Cause let me tell you why. The only reason that God allowed the trial was to free you from what was holding you captive. God is a mighty warrior. When God knocks, he keeps knocking. He doesn't give up on people. God doesn't knock one time, two times, you failed. That's all right. He's still knocking. If your heart is still beating, God is still knocking. He is not going to let you go until he accomplishes his purpose for your life.