Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fighting against God

The sealed tomb - artist unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 27:57-66

TO CHEW ON: "'Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away and say to the people, "He has risen from the dead."' … So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard."  Matthew 27:64,66

How futile to fight against God this way, we say in hindsight, as we read about the precautions the religious leaders of Jesus' day took to guarantee His influence would come to an end. The days and weeks after Jesus rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit have more examples of fighting against God.

After Peter healed the lame man and the city was all a-chatter about that miracle, the rulers made another pronouncement: "But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them that from now on they speak no more in this name." To that Peter and John answered: "… we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" - Acts 4:17,20.

A short while later Peter and John made a miraculous angel-aided break from prison and the leaders found them again teaching in the temple. Again the high priest forbade them to teach in Jesus' name, to which Peter they replied: "We ought to obey God rather than men" - Acts 5:22-29.

Finally, the Pharisee Gamaliel came to this rather profound conclusion: "'… keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of man, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God you cannot overthrow it—lest you be found to be fighting against God'" - Acts 5:38,39.

I sometimes wonder what side some of Christendom's current leaders would have found themselves on if they had lived in Jesus' day. What about us? When God works in ways that are biblical but new to us, what do we do? Are we quick to defend our tradition, labeling what we haven't seen before out-of-line, wrong, even demonic? Or do we take a wait-and-see attitude, careful to avoid being in the dangerous position of fighting against God?

PRAYER:  Dear God, help me to be in tune with You and what You are doing. May neither my human skepticism, the fear of man, nor any other thing take me to a place of fighting against You. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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