When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,
“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’—
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 plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
What were Herod and Pontius Pilate gathered together to do?
What were the Gentiles and all the peoples of Israel gathered together to do?
Time and time again throughout history, enemies have united together for the purpose of retaining their power and control.
- They unite together when there is One greater than themselves.
- They unite together when they can’t defeat the emerging leader.
- They’d rather compromise a little and share their power with a fellow enemy than lose their power all together.
From God’s perspective, who was in control in this situation?
“… to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”
- God was using Herod and Pontius Pilate to accomplish His will.
- God was using the Gentiles and all the peoples of Israel to accomplish His will.
It’s one thing to predict your own death; it’s something entirely different to predict how you’re going to die when it’s something completely outside of your control! There’s no explanation for all the prophetic fulfillments apart from God using these people to do whatever His hand and His plan had predestined to take place.
I don’t claim to know all the why’s and how’s associated with our story yet. We may never know some of them. But I do know this: God never surrendered control. By the nature of who He is, He always allows us to be tested, but it’s always for the purpose of passing the test.
Ultimately, my response is my responsibility. That’s why Acts 4:29-31 is so important to me.
- I want to be faithful regardless of the circumstances.
- I want to be faithful through the circumstances.
- I want to be faithful in this new season.
What do I want in my life?
- in Karin’s life?
- in Mark’s and Annika’s lives?
- in my extended family’s life?
- in my friends’ lives?
- in my leaders’ lives?
- in my followers’ lives?
- I want the difference between pre-resurrection and post-resurrection.
- I want the difference between pre-Pentecost and post-Pentecost.
- I want more presence, peace, and power.
- I want more fruit and much fruit.
- I want to move from average to abundant.
Now look at Acts 4:29-31 in light of those things I want.
“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness…”
Lord, give us the anointing, authority, and ability to speak with boldness from the Holy Spirit.
“… while you stretch out your hand to heal and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
I want more than boldness; I want You to gift me gifts to heal and for signs and wonders to be performed through me in the name of Jesus.
By the way, if you don’t want that, why not?
- I want it because the problems can’t be solved without it.
- I want it because the mission can’t be fulfilled without it.
- I want it because it represents God’s best and I always want to give people God’s best.
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
God, we are entering into and praying into this new season. Fill us with the fullness of Your Holy Spirit.
- Give us everything.
- Don’t leave anything out.
- Give us a double portion.
- Fill us right now.
- Fill us more tomorrow.
- Fill us more next week.
- Fill us more next month.
- Fill us more next year.
I pray for 2020 to be the Year of More.
- The Year of Post-Resurrection.
- The Year of Post-Pentecost.
- The Year of Boldness.
- The Year of Fullness.
- The Year of Abundance.