The whole book of acts has been full of the contrast between the apostles and the Jewish leaders. But today the Lord really drew my attention to that. In chapter 5 there even starts to be some contrast within the community of believers. Here are some of the contrasts from this chapter and the very end of chapter 4:
- Barnabas sold everything he owned and gave it to the community. Ananias sold everything he owned, but he lied and kept half of it for himself.
- The apostles to everything they possibly can to spread the gospel and the name of Jesus. The Jewish leaders do everything they possibly can to wipe the name of Jesus from existence.
- The apostles rely on the strength of the Holy Spirit. The Jewish leaders rely on themselves.
- The apostles obey what God tells them to do. The Jewish leaders obey what people tell them to do.
And at the end of this chapter, there’s a Pharisee who’s warning the other leaders about how they proceed with the apostles. He tells them to be careful because they could even end up opposing God. And that’s when it hit me…
Everything I do is either for God or it’s against him.
And that’s a pretty overwhelming realization.
The apostles were so intentional about doing every single thing they did to glorify God and share the Gospel. The Jewish leaders weren’t intentionally acting in opposition to God, but that’s exactly what they were doing. They weren’t intentionally for God, so they were against him. They were doing the work of the enemy. They weren’t getting closer to God. They were moving away from him. So they were getting closer to the enemy.
It’s a truth that is so hard to hear.
I truck through life not even giving a thought to 80% of what I do. I just do things because they’re part of my routine or because I’ve always done them or because other people are doing them or because I have nothing better to do. I’m not intentionally being disobedient or acting in opposition to God. But, if what I’m doing isn’t for him, it’s against him. If I’m not intentionally glorifying him or acting in obedience to him, I’m not doing God’s work. I’m doing the enemy’s work.
My lack of intentionality is a lot more harmful than I thought it was. And, I need to start looking at every single thing I do through this lens:
- Is this helping God or helping the enemy?
- Is this bringing me closer to God or closer to the enemy?
- Am I listening to God or listening to the enemy?
- Am I obeying God or obeying the enemy?
Because each one of my actions falls on one side or the other.
I don’t want my complacency to lead to anything that glorifies or helps the enemy.
I want every moment of my life to bring me closer to God, to help advance his kingdom, and obey what he wants me to do.
There is no in between.