Shaken and Stirred
‘After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.’ (v31) Acts 4:23–31
A friend says, ‘Never say never!’ If we live by faith, today is what counts; where is God present? Peter and John had seen a man healed who had been unable to walk, and faced detention for a breach of the peace and been released – their crime unique and outside legal precedent.
The authorities were also amazed at the courage and coherent message of two ‘unschooled’ and unremarkable men (v13). In fact the unremarkable made space for our remarkable God. Pentecost in action!
The disciples found their confidence in God’s provision, and we’re invited to do the same. Without God’s inspiration, the man who could not walk would have been left to beg, and the authorities free to crush the Church.
When facing the impossible, Peter and John called upon the name of Jesus (Acts 3:6) and God intervened to create a grace moment. Believing Peter and John would have self-preservation uppermost in their minds, and hoping they’d be frightened by their arrest, the authorities released them on condition they’d not speak in Jesus’ name again.
Peter and John were faced with a choice we have to make: were they – and are we – to obey the voice of self-interest or the voice of God? Uncertain of what tomorrow might bring, they gathered with the believers and prayed both for protection, but also for more of God. That’s the fertiliser for all revival: praying for more of God.
Related Scripture to Consider: Esther 4:6–17; Psa. 13; Luke 12:4–11; 1 Cor. 1:18–31.
An Action to Take: Our challenge is always to learn how to discern between self-interest and God’s will. Faith invites us to seek and discern God’s voice every day. Let’s make this a daily discipline.
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, develop my discernment skills so I can speak Your word with boldness and see wonders in Jesus’ name. Amen.’
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.
Photo by DesignPicsInc on depositphotos