Acts 4 is a phenomenal chapter in the Bible. Basically it contains the account of Peter and John appearing before the Jewish council of religious leaders to explain by whose power they acted to heal a man lame for over 40 years! Most of the people in Jerusalem had heard about the miracle and the members of the council were amazed at the boldness and eloquence of two fishermen who had been with Jesus. After a day of deliberations the council commanded the apostles never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. Of course Peter and John refused to abide by their terms so the rulers threatened them but because of their fear of starting a riot, let the two men go. Peter and John reported to the church what happened and they went into a time of prayer that was so dynamic the Holy Spirit shook the place!
Acts 4:29,30--And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, Your servants, great boldness in preaching Your word. Stretch out Your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of Your holy servant Jesus. (NLT)
On Saturday night, August 19, I preached on Acts 4:23-31. I challenged our fellowship to expect bigger things of God, to increase our faith so that people in our community would see His power at work. I had no idea that God would put us to test in the process!
By Tuesday our son Bryan was into his fifth day of headaches and soreness on his neck (a particularly scary thing for us because of his brain-stem tumor). We took him into a doctor and a mass was discovered on Bryan’s neck. He was immediately scheduled for a cat scan the next day. We prayed Acts 4:30 with our home group and word went out to many people who also prayed for Bryan.
By late Wednesday afternoon the word came back, the cat scan detected no abnormalities. The doctors were perplexed and Bryan’s headaches abated. We don’t know what God is going to do when we pray. What we do know is that He delights when we come to Him in faith and trust Him in the midst of adversity. Our responsibility is to ask and trust that God will exert healing power and do amazing things.
We often look for immediate results—in our case, Bryan’s healing. But the greatest result is not what happens in our temporary bodies but rather in God’s eternal Kingdom. Unless Christ returns soon we all are going to die. But for believers in Jesus, the result of death is forever life with Him (as opposed to eternal separation and agony for those who reject Him). When we pray, the ultimate results that we seek should be the furtherance of the gospel. Unless our God is real and able to do far more than we can think or imagine, why should anyone put his or her trust in Him? Bryan’s time bomb continues ticking. We celebrate God extending him grace to share his story. Our faith is magnified. Our community is amazed. The important result is God gets all the glory. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
God makes clear what He desires, we must choose, and the result of the choice is not the inevitability of law, but the inevitability of God.—Oswald Chambers in Conformed To His Image
©2006 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)