FREEDOM: WHY DOES IT LOOK UPSIDE DOWN? FREEDOM IN THE MIDST OF AN UNJUST SYSTEM
Unjust – not based on behavior according to what is morally right and fair lacking in justice or fairness
Forward Thinkers, Black, Brown, and poor people have been seen on video being killed by law enforcement time and time again but the justice system somehow never sees what we see.
Yet, we must keep the faith even while living under a system where freedom looks upside down.
Forward Thinkers, this unjust system has created a real pipeline from the school yard to the prison yard in our communities.
Acts 16:18-24 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her. 19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
FORWARD THINKERS, 3 THINGS WE MUST UNDERSTAND WHILE EXPERIENCING INJUSTICE:
1) Forward Thinkers, we must call out every negative spirit trying to destroy our communities.
2) Forward Thinkers, we must realize as Believers, our belief system will often turn their system upside down and inside out.
3) Forward Thinkers, we must understand freedom will always cost us something.
Verses 22-24 5 Things We See In The Text In Regards To Experiencing Injustice
- A) They were Stripped Forward Thinkers, the purpose of them being stripped was to strip them of their hope and future. Today the enemy still desires to strip us of our hope and future.
- B) They were Beaten Forward Thinkers, the purpose of them being beaten was to break their spirits and cause them to stop believing. We must not allow the devil to cause us to stop believing in the power of God and the unlimited possibilities of our future.
- C) They were thrown in Prison Forward Thinkers, the goal of prison is not just to lock you up today but to lock you out of your tomorrow. Mass incarceration has replaced the slave plantation in America.
- D) They were put in Inner Cell Forward Thinkers, the goal on the inner cell is to disconnect you from others because we are always at our weakest when we are isolated. Forward Thinkers, notice the inner cell disconnects them from the general population and today the inner city disconnects us from the general population of advancement.
- E) They were fastened at the feet Forward Thinkers, the enemy desires to prevent forward movement but what the enemy doesn’t realize is even if you lock me down physically, you can’t lock my faith down.
Side Note 1: Paul and Silas were affecting the money system by setting people free from the money hustlers. Remember, Dr. King was not murdered during a protest march or a dream speech but they killed him when he declared financial freedom for poor people of color. Forward Thinker, when the messenger starts to mess up the money system, the messenger becomes a real threat to the system.
Verse 25 ABOUT MIDNIGHT Forward Thinkers, a new day is on the horizon and we must never stop believing in the power of a new day. Weeping may endure for a night but after midnight, joy comes. Forward Thinkers, let’s touch and agree; midnight is on the way.
Praying and Singing Hymns Forward Thinkers, there is power in prayer and notice they were singing hymns—the early church drew strength from prayer and hymns; the slaves while still in slavery drew strength from praying and singing hymns; our grandparents drew strength from prayer and hymns.
Forward Thinkers, we put away the hymns and rarely pray so where does the modern church draw our strength from?
Side Note 2: Forward Thinkers, notice the other prisoners were listening to them and being encouraged by them.
Forward Thinkers, even when a Believer is going through something, he is still assigned to bring God glory.
How you handle your negative place will determine how God shifts you into a greater place.
Verse 26 SUDDENLY Forward Thinkers, I’m declaring you are on your way to experiencing a ‘suddenly’ in your life where doors of opportunity will fly open and the chains holding you down will fall off.
Forward Thinkers, after all is said and done, you will experience the freedom to move forward in the midst of an unjust system.
Verse 27-34 Forward Thinkers, what the devil meant for bad, notice how God turns it around for the good. The jailer and his whole family got saved and baptized.
Forward Thinkers, Paul and Silas made a positive difference. What kind of difference are we making?
Verse 35-39 Paul and Silas ordered a Public Release so others could see the power of God in an unjust system. Don’t hide your testimony-Share your story it will bring God glory.
Verse 40 Finally at Lydia’s House
Forward Thinkers, Paul and Silas finally arrive to Lydia’s house. Lydia’s house is now a house of prayer that used to be the house where purple stuff was sold. The power of God can turn any house around.
Paul introduced Lydia to Jesus Christ and she didn’t forget. She got saved, for real.
Forward Thinkers, have you been transformed from your old ways or have you just transferred to a church seat still doing the same thing?
Forward Thinkers, we must walk in faith so strong that we impact the city with real change and lead this generation to true freedom that can only be found through a relationship with Jesus Christ, even in the midst of an unjust system.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. Pastor Deckard is also the Co-Founder of the No More Bloodshed Movement. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net.