“When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, ‘WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE, AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS? T HE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND, AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER A GAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS CHRIST.’ For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.”
Acts 4:23-31 NASB
I can only imagine the disciples of Jesus, the death, burial and resurrection of their Savior fresh in their minds, His leaving them for Heaven, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. The ministry of Jesus Christ had moved from the theoretical to the practical, as the newly birthed church began to do the work of spreading the Gospel. I am sure there was fear, I am also sure that there was a resolve, as they had the confidence to move forward.
They faced the opposition that Jesus faced. There were the usual suspects against them, all guilty, with the blood of their Savior on their hands. Emboldened by God in them, the disciples faced off with the authorities with confidence, a confidence based on the fact that they had been with Jesus. In the aftermath of the encounter, they took their concerns to their Lord and left it with Him. They placed it all on the altar and knew and trusted that God was in control.
Throughout my journey in this faith, I have had many seasons where I was filled with fears, and worry, as I faced things that I thought were going to be the end of me. I remember years ago I had missed a lot of work due to a bout with cancer. I had spent six weeks in the hospital. Work piled up in my absence. My supervisor at the time, did little to fill in and very little was done. I returned to deal with a mountain of paperwork and battle with through chemotherapy that drained me.
My supervisor lacked leadership skills and set about “cracking the whip” and demanding a superhuman effort to catch the work up. God is good. He gave me the strength. I will not say she was against me, but she had a habit of sliding the parameters of what she wanted me to accomplish when I appeared to get close to completing my work.
At some point I was placed on probation. I remember the meeting. It had been scheduled late in the day. We staff dreaded late meetings. Often they were firing meetings. As the time approached, I prayed and surrendered the situation to the Lord. A great peace came over me. Ultimately my probation had easy to meet goals and timetables and mystically, I went from being the horrible employee, to being the GOAT, or Greatest Of All Time. I learned that I could have confidence in my God, that He as truly for me.
I love the passage above. I can imagine them meeting and listening to all that Peter has shared and then taking the situation to the Lord in prayer. They acknowledged the past greatness of their God, and how He told them that those who do not know the Lord will rage. They knew that the very power that created all things, that empowered David, would enter that new situation and be there for them.
Believers, our God is for you. No matter what you are facing, He is there. The power of creation, the power of the resurrection, and the power that emboldened the early church, is still with us and is available to all who believe.
I find great beauty as I imagine a doting and loving Savior, looking down on this rag tag collection of Saints, saved from sin, made new, and now going out to do the work that He commissioned them to do. As if to comfort and assure them, He shook the place where they were.
We all have those moments of being gently shaken, those moments when we know that God is near. Seek the Lord today and have confidence that He is there for you. He is Jehovah-Shammah, He is here and there, where you are and where you will be. He is Jehovah-Roi, the God who sees all that you are going through. He is Jehovah-Jireh, God the provider who provides what you need. He is so much more! He is Jehovah-Sabaoth, God Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth, you and me.
Go through this day knowing that He is for you!
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