Acts 4 – Breaking Our Own Rules to Engage Others
Act 4:18-20 – So the Jewish leaders called Peter and John in again. They told the apostles not to say anything or to teach anything in the name of Jesus. (19) But Peter and John answered them, “What do you think is right? What would God want? Should we obey you or God? (20) We cannot be quiet. We must tell people about what we have seen and heard.”
In Acts chapter 4 Peter and John are faced with a situation that we luckily aren’t likely to face in America today. They were handed a mandate from the religious governing body to no longer speak to others about, or in the name of, Jesus. We are privileged today that our religious leaders have not placed a restriction like that upon us. On the contrary, we are encouraged to speak boldly of the name of Jesus to all who fall into our circle of influence.
So with such freedom and encouragement to share Jesus with others, why do so many neglect to do so? What is it that prevents most believers from sharing what Jesus has done in their life with others around them?
Although the voice that prevents us from sharing our faith or engaging in ministry does not originate from our religious leaders today, a voice still exists. The inner voice. The voice of fear, low self esteem or low confidence. The voice that we use to tell ourselves that others don’t want to hear about what Jesus has done in our lives, much less what He could do in theirs. The voice that we so easily succumb to at times when a Kingdom opportunity arises.
Regardless of the origins of the voices that tell us to “be quiet” about the gospel and our saviour Jesus. We must choose as Peter and John did to ask the same question. “Should we obey you or God?” Should we obey that inner voice of low confidence and fear, or should we stand and believe what God has assured us in His word? Should we be quiet and submissive to fear and anxiety or bold in the Lord, compelled to share what we have seen and heard in our own lives?
The answer to the question is obvious, but the solutions are more challenging. We must pray daily that we place more value in the voice of God than any other voice in our lives – external or internal. We must examine and rehearse the things that God has done, and is doing, in our lives so that we may be encouraged and emboldened by His consistent good work in and around us. And we must be filled with His Holy Spirit by walking in obedience with Him. If we do these things we can join Peter and John in their boldness and readiness to share all that Christ has done.
Praise: Thank you Lord for empowering me to hear your voice and do your will through the Holy Spirit.
Confess: Often times my inner voice wins over the mission that God has called me to.
Request: Shift my perspective Lord so that I may be empowered and courageous to engage in the ministry opportunities that you have called me to. Give me ears to hear you alone.