A thermometer takes the temperature in the environment it’s in. A thermometer doesn’t have authority or influence to change anything other than being the victim to its environment. A thermostat on the other hand has the authority to change the temperature in an entire room! You have more authority than you know because you are connected to the source(Jesus)! An example of this in scripture is found in Acts 16 with Paul and Silas.
Paul and Silas had been preaching the gospel in Philippi and for days had been followed by a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future (Acts 16:16). Finally, Paul had enough and turned to her and rebuked the demon and she was freed. Because of this her masters grew angry because they lost their source of income and dragged Paul and Silas before the city authorities. They were beaten, and thrown into prison!
“Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! “ (vs 25-27)
There are many reasons why I love this story. I’ve always admired Paul’s courage, his faith and steadfastness before the Lord.
Prison’s aren’t a fun environment and it was probably a lot worse back then than it is now! Paul had turned up into a place he didn’t see coming. It stepped into an environment where it didn’t match up with the promises of God. It was a place where it probably felt hopeless and dark. I mean, can you imagine after being beaten and bruised to then be thrown into the “inner dungeon” and chained by your ankles and feet?!
But what we see happen later is powerful. It said around midnight Paul and Silas began to worship. When I read that I thought, why did it take them till midnight to start worshiping? Maybe they too felt the loneliness and despair that the prison environment carried. Maybe they had an internal wrestle about the situation they were in not aligning with the assignment that they were on.
I’d like to propose to you that Paul and Silas decided to be a thermostat in the environment they were in. They decided that they wouldn’t just be victims of the “temperature” in that prison, but decided that through their worship and praise to God, they would shift the atmosphere! And they sure did! Soon enough an earthquake came and the prison doors were opened and it says that chains on EVERY prisoner came off! They’re partnership with changing the atmosphere not only affected them, but everyone around them.
I believe God is asking us to be a thermostat instead of a thermometer in the environments we are in. He’s calling us to be an atmosphere changer and setter! We are called to be the head and not the tail! Not only will the atmosphere shift around us when we partner and release heaven, but it will create an environment that you are also pulling people into so that they too can experience freedom in Christ. No matter how tough the environment is, you are not a victim to it!
Here are practical ways you can change the atmosphere wherever you go.
- Worship and keep your attention to the Lord
- Release the kingdom of heaven by faith around you
- Praying in the spirit
- Loving and encouraging others around you
- Being fully yourself without fear
Let’s be more like Paul and Silas, that no matter what environment we find ourselves in, we can know that Christ in us the hope of glory is in us and wants to get OUT of us. Let’s shift the atmosphere wherever we go and set the temperature to look and feel more like Jesus!