“There is an earthquake in your mouth”   Acts 16.16-26
When God decides to use you – it is always after he tries you.
Greatness is chosen out of the furnace of affliction and adversity.
Find somebody mightily used of God – somewhere they have been broken – they may look humble – but they can fight or they wouldn’t be where they are.
We are broken in private – it is lonely – no one really understands.  We want people to understand our woundings and hurtings – God wants a vessel for oil to flow through.  (His love is perfect & unknowable)
They that live godly shall suffer persecution.  We have almost made people believe if you have great faith – you won’t go through anything – that’s not true.  No one is exempt from pain.
In the text, Paul and Silas got in a prison.  From prominence to prison.  God is sovereign. He can bless you in a mess.
Some of the most wretched ungodly people make the best christians.  Nothing worse than a bunch of goody two shoe christians who brag about what the haven’t done.
Some folks are just so glad to be saved.  They’ve been through so much, they have hurt so long, they’ve wept so many nights, they’ve suffered and wrestled with anger and sin and violence.  They’ve been victimized and abused, mistreated, some have been molested and ostracized.  They are full of guilt – then they hear about the blood of Jesus that washes them and gives them a 2nd chance.
While you argue over who’s gonna get this position, who’s got the biggest church, who’s the greatest preacher, who can hit the highest note, they are just so glad to be saved, don’t care if they ever get called on – just glad to be washed in the blood!
When you start doing things for God you are gonna run into opposition.  Paul and Silas got on the enemies hit list by doing the will of God.  They had fooled around and delivered a witch, broke a yoke, and put some evil men out of business – that’s what good church do – they shut down some things.
We need to shut some things down.  Quit being so nice – Paul just shut it down – didn’t ask anybody – Don’t let anybody tell you that doing the will of God won’t get you in trouble – it will.
I have learned from personal experience, you can be right and be treated wrong.  Be criticized – doing right, be lied on – can’t even defend yourself.  You can be victimized and have to hold your peace – can’t say nothing – just have wait on the Lord to straighten it out.  You can suffer many days – God does nothing – he lets you suffer.
God moved Paul’s ministry into the prison where he was treated like an animal, stripped and beaten.
Paul had had a bad day.
There are all kinds of prisons.  Sometimes you can’t even explain your prison – people make assumptions – yak, yak, yak (like Job’s friends!)
I came to tell you – God is gonna get glory out of the worst circumstances of your life.
You need to tell someone – something good is gonna come out of this – it hurts, I’m crying, I’m in trouble – I’m not in this for nothing.
Without trials – You only have a theory.

You are only looking in the window – you can get in a prison and not know how you got there!  When you get there you’ll learn how to pray!  You won’t need books or tapes or seminars.  People talking about you like a dog – you will pray!  (When you hurt bad enough)
Learn to say with me – Glad for the Bad – it made me pray!
Some of you have resented your problems – they made you – you have to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ – nobody helped me – but check it out I’m still here!  I’m tougher than I look. I’m a survivor!
Tell yourself about your friends – Thank you for not helping me – or I’d have had to praise you – but I had to pray – now I praise Him (I think I’ll praise Him for things I can’t testify about) (The victim – perpetrator)
Ez. 3.10-15…Ezekiel
I was hot, wroth.  God said sit where they lay sat – you must sit where they sit.  Put your books up and sit where I sat – 7 days.  I was astonished.  He lived as a captive.  He visited the jailhouse.
I’ve spent some nights in a prison and I wanted out, but, can’t think or figure or budget my way out – I was in prison.  Did not know how to get out.
God did not deliver us from on high – He came through 42 generations, into a dressing room called Mary’s womb wrapped himself in flesh and for 33 years sat where we sat!  Touched by the feelings of our infirmities.  Tempted in all points.  Sat where we sat!  (He feels what I feel)
God is not into child abuse – you are coming out of your trouble! God is gonna get a lot of glory from your pain.  God will reverse your trouble and pain.
The bible says the enemy must pay you back double for every night you cried and suffered, every injury.  Is. 61.7
Paul and Silas went from notoriety to obscurity – why??  Someone beating your child and you don’t stop them?  God suffered it for greater glory.
When people see what you have been through they are going to believe in God!  They have seen God’s power in you.  Tell yourself I am a testimony. I haven’t lost my mind, haven’t thrown in the towel, I’m in church – I am a testimony to the power of God.
You are the 67th book of the Bible. People are gonna read you and believe in God.
I don’t have to argue with you if Jesus is real: look at meIf He wasn’t real I wouldn’t be here!
Paul – the man of faith, power – epistle writer, beaten – stripped – sitting where they sat.  When he went in there was no singing.  Sometimes you can’t sing – I told myself I’d never go through this and here I am in it.  No shouting – they beat him, took all day late into the night.
God – I thought you loved me – Here I am bound.  I’m doing my best.  No deliverance – no escape no release – torment, suffering – God where are you – they are gonna kill me –I thought I’d be out of this by now.

God doesn’t even clear his throat.  You did it for Peter in Acts 12, why not for me?
No wind, no earthquake, no apostles pleading his case.  Where are the people I helped and blessed? Where are they? Where are my “friends”?  God why am I in this situation.
I might not even get out, but since I’m in this jam, I might as well learn how to survive.
I don’t see anything to be happy about I don’t feel happy. No cards, no letters, no good news.
But at midnight – I’m gonna think myself happy – whatsoever is good, pure, lovely, if there be any virtue, and praise and at Midnight.
In somebody’s life it is midnight.  You have been depressed, ostracized, criticized.  You have thought about giving up, throwing in the towel – now it’s 11:59 – you might as well praise God.  Open your mouth and cause an earthquake.
I will bless the Lord at all times – his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Even in bad times, I’m a single parent, I’m divorced, been mistreated, and misunderstood – but I’m gonna praise Him.  I’ve had some pain and I’ve had some scars but I will bless the Lord.  I’m a disciplined soldier!!
It’s midnight – it’s time to praise Him.
Time to get out of your prison.  Now or never!
There’s an earthquake in your mouth – open it up and praise him!  Give God praise!

You’ve gotta change your attitude while your are in the prison – then God delivers you.
You could have been out a long time ago – your deliverance is in your mouth – stop murmuring, complaining and feeling sorry for your self – stop blaming other people – throw back your head and praise God!!
Somebody needs to say – I’m coming out of this.  Excuse me – I’m coming out.  I’ve been in this long enough – I’m coming out!
C’mon survivor – get out right now!
When you get loose – everything in the prison gets set free, everything around you, connected to you – family, friends –
Devil I’m mad – you should have never let me get in the prison – cause now I’m not coming out alone I’m bringing everything out with me.
If you praise him – no prison can hold you!
Thanks for reading today!