FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
EQUIPPED FOR THE WORK
April 16, 2012
Today’s reading: Acts 4:23-31
We are commissioned to evangelize. We do so through the power of the Holy Spirit. We know there will be intense opposition from Satan and his minions in the world. How can we not only survive but thrive?
First, we must be prepared for the inevitable assault of enemy forces. “Why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples entertain folly?” (Acts 4:25b). We know that we face powerful forces, including the secular governments of a world that has become anti-Christian. “The kings of the earth took their stand and the princes gathered together against the Lord and against his anointed.” (Acts 4:26). We are in an intense spiritual war that rages in the heavens and on earth. We are in for the fight of our lives.
Second, because we fight a formidable foe, we look to God for our deliverance, guidance and strength. “And when they heard it, they raised their voices to God with one accord” (Acts 4:24a). We pray together as a community. The leaders seek the mind of God together.
We trust in the Almighty God, knowing He is all-powerful. We look to the “Sovereign Lord, maker of heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them” (Acts 4:24b). We also know God has a great plan for us from all eternity, including participating in the victory that Jesus has already won on the cross. We can look to God “to do what your hand and your will had long ago planned to take place.” (Acts 4:28). We have our destiny, and we simply need to flow with God’s grace and direction.
We know we are just instruments, and as such the fight really is God’s. We look to Him to equip us. “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness” (Acts 4:29). When we do so, we know God will provide. In fact, since this is God’s divine work and not merely our human work, we can anticipate that “signs and wonders are done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:30b). Further, when we are wounded in the battle, we look to God to “stretch forth (His) hand to heal” (Acts 4:30a).
Third, we involve the whole community. “After their release they went back to their own people and reported what the chief priests and elders had told them.” (Acts 4:23). We strive to be at peace with each other and united in mission. We have active channels of communication. We utilize all the spiritual gifts provided each member by the Holy Spirit.
When we put on the heart and mind of God, when we look to Him for everything that we need as His instruments, when we unite with our brethren to become a strong army, then God will provide whatever we need. We will experience the power and might of God. “As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31).
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