This is the last message in a short series on portions of the Book of Acts. It’s a little out of order, but today we talk about the amazing “fallout” from the miracle in chapter 3. Will life ever be the same? When the Holy Spirit moves there’s a disruption of the status quo. Are you prepared to let God disrupt your life with a move of His Holy Spirit?
Robin and I dreamed of having children since we first got serious about each other. It was wonderful to think about. Finally the day of fulfillment came, and it was wonderful! First there was Ben, then Ryan, then Chris, then Tim, then Hannah, and then Katie, but one of the features of parenthood – going from dream to reality – was that there was a total disruption of the life we once knew. I remember going to church before children – we worshipped, thought of no one else but the Lord, listened uninterrupted to the message and enjoyed the rest of the day with only work on Monday to look forward to. After children was another story. I remember holding one of our little charges when he filled his pants in the middle of the message. There were also nights that were relatively sleepless, especially for poor Robin. Robin quit her job and stayed home with the kids once they started to come. It was a total disruption of the life we once knew, and we loved it.
When the Holy Spirit moves, it’s disruptive! It shuffles, shakes, and transforms the status quo until life is not recognizable, but it’s good.
“Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.”
If you don’t remember, Peter and John were the “they.” They went to the Temple to pray, along with thousands of others, and they saw a man who had never been able to walk. The Lord healed the man, through Peter and John, and he walked, jumped, and praised God, loudly! Everybody could hear and see him. It was a moment in which the Holy Spirit did something miraculous.
How many times have you said that you’d like to see the miraculous? Or “If only God would do something high profile like that, especially in front of my family! Think of the people that would be affected, think of the visibility, the vindication! See I told you God was real!”
In actuality this miracle was a nuclear explosion in the middle of the status quo. It released an opportunity to speak to the crowd of worshippers in the Temple.
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before…”
Verse 26 – “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
What was the result of that message?
“…many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.”
Five thousand heads of households, with who knows how many family members, came to know the Lord in one message. It was a move of the Holy Spirit, for sure. A healed man and thousands of changed lives is awesome.
But where were Peter, John, and the formerly lame guy turned into the “so you think you can dance” guy? They were in jail. The next day, an entire Congressional hearing took place, with them at the center. Literally, all the national leaders had a meeting to examine, discuss, and squash what was happening with threats of severe consequences.
When the Holy Spirit moves, it brings disruption to the status quo, and the question becomes, “Will you pay that price of disruption for the move of the Holy Spirit?”
So how does a move of the Holy Spirit look?
“’Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.’
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
How happy are you with the status quo?
Your little world is basically filled with a comfortable mix of work, effort, family, rest and friends. It’s where the unexpected is the flat tire, or oversleeping for a class, or an argument with your sister, or an upcoming employment review. It’s where you come home in the evening, have dinner, watch some tv, hangout, go to bed and do it all over again until the weekend comes and you can sleep in on Saturday, maybe go to church on Sunday and definitely watch the Bills game. If you’re happy with that, this message isn’t for you.
However, if you’re willing to let God disrupt your life and embrace the new, busy, changed priority life that leaves aside the aforementioned status quo and instead brings new opportunities and new adversaries, then let me show you what to do.
Pray dangerous prayers. And listen to and follow God.
“So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’”
They basically said, “If it’s a matter of listening to and following you vs. listening to and following God – we pick God.”
Are you willing to let a move of God in your life disrupt your life?