In the United Kingdom, during World War II and the bombing of London by German forces, Air Raid Wardens sounded sirens, issued gas masks, and led people to shelters. These wardens had the chance to truly impact the war effort and save lives, but only if they stayed calm and kept confident about their emergency plan. As Christians, if we keep our calm demeanor and confidence, we too can save lives.
In Acts 16, Paul and Silas, while in Philippi, cast an evil spirit from a fortune-telling slave girl, much to the dismay of her owners, who were profiting from her abilities. The magistrates tore their clothes, beat them with rods, and threw them in prison with their feet shackled. Picking up in verse 25 we read, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them…” As this raid broke out against them– the unjust trial, the beatings, the shackles – they kept their hearts on God through praying and singing, never being deterred from the real work of bringing people to safety in Jesus Christ.
Verse 26 continues, “…and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.” God does amazing things when we lift His name above all turmoil and strife. In verses 29 and 30, the jailer “fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’” Paul and Silas discovered that hope, like an Air Raid Warden’s emergency plan, works best when held onto tightly; this hope in God moved the jailer to give his life to Christ.
Those who don’t believe in Jesus, whether they realize it or not, are in bondage. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” (John 8:34) People are in slavery to bitterness, jealousy, depression, addiction, etc. As they’re shackled, what are they hearing from us as Christians? Are they hearing us complain about our jobs, marriages, and health? Or are they hearing us pray and sing hymns to our awesome God, regardless our circumstance? Believers are the Air Raid Wardens of this world; we have a responsibility to point others to shelter in Christ. Rely on the Spirit of God and stick to the plan, even as bombs explode around us. “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” (1 Peter 3:19)