I love the simple nature of the message I got from this passage today. Peter and John were released and they went back to tell the other believers what the chief priests and elders had said to them. And what was the first instinct of the group? Pray. Just pray. They lifted their voices together and started praying to God.
And when you really think about it, that response is pretty amazing considering the circumstances. The chief priests and elders had threatened them. I mean really threatened them. The believers knew they could be facing some super bad things if they kept preaching the gospel. The could be arrested. They could lose everything. They could even be killed.
They could’ve stopped. They could’ve thrown in the towel and gone back to their old lives in the interest of safety. They could’ve fled to a different part of the world where they might be better received. They could’ve gotten quiet about sharing the gospel and done it behind closed doors making sure to stay off the radar of those priests and elders.
But they didn’t. They were completely committed to carrying out what God had asked them to do: to share the gospel boldly.
So when their ability to do that was threatened, they prayed. They asked God to allow them to continue doing the work he had given them. They asked God to continue giving them the power to heal people. They asked God to continue doing miracles through them. And they asked God to allow them to do it all in the name of Jesus.
And God answered. The place they were in actually shook, and he filled them all with the Holy Spirit so that they could continue to boldly share the gospel.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have anyone threatening to arrest or kill me for anything. The types of adversity the early believers faced were so much more massive than anything I’ll ever face. But, their first instinct was still to go straight to God in prayer. And he answered their prayer in a real and mighty way.
I was so encouraged by this! If God can help them overcome that kind of obstacle, what will I ever face that he can’t help me get through? Nothing. The answer to that is nothing.
And, take that a step further. If he has the power to defeat death, what could ever be going on in my life that he can’t defeat? Nothing. The answer to that is also nothing.
He wants to be my first line of defense. He wants me to fight my battles on my knees. He wants my first instinct in any circumstance to be to run straight to him.
All day. Every day. No matter the circumstance.