And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
Peter was being held in prison by Herod because of his association with the church. The definition of the name Herod comes down to a root meaning of hero. Herod was so named because he was perceived as a hero.
We often put on this outward facade of being a big hero and that is the very thing that causes the real me to be held captive on the inside. We are held captive by chains of addiction, self pity, co-dependency, compulsive behavior, anger and even spirituality because I think I can overcome the thing in my life that is holding me in bondage. Try as hard as we might we eventually slip back into the same behaviors. It is no wonder Paul said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Romans 7:18
We are often captives of our own self because of our association with perceived spirituality. Spirituality certainly has its place. However it is my faith in and relationship with my Creator, the source of all love and light and not because I am trying to be spiritual that I am set free. Until I can acknowledge that I am captive to my own flesh and I am not a spiritual super hero I will continue in this inward struggle. When Peter learned to rest in faith and love in the middle of his captivity, a light shined in the prison and the process of his deliverance began.
Pride and a judgmental hero attitude because I am good at this Christianity thing is imprisoning. Faith and dependence on the one who created me is deliverance and freedom. Deliverance is possible. It is an experience as real as what Peter experienced that night in prison and it comes simply because I accept the love God has given to me and not because I am a hero who can do this thing.