The apostles had already received the power of the Holy Spirit after Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to Heaven to rule with His Father. They were arrested when a crippled man was healed. They were released from jail and warned not to talk about Jesus. They were bold beyond believe already.
- Yet, they prayed for more boldness and fearless courage. And God gave it to them.
- God’s goal for us is to have fearless confidence. Jesus has given us the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We may think we have enough. We do not. May God give us more. May God give it to us now.
And now, Master [Lord], look upon their threats and grant to your slaves [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.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Acts 4:29–30). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The early church strongly believed in God’s sovereignty and His perfect plan for His people. But note that they did not allow their faith in divine sovereignty to destroy human responsibility, for they were faithful to witness and pray.
- It is when God’s people get out of balance and overemphasize either sovereignty or responsibility that the church loses power.
- Again, we are reminded of Augustine’s wise words, “Pray as though everything depends on God, and work as though everything depended on you.”
- Faith in a sovereign Master is a tremendous encouragement for God’s people to keep serving the Master when the going is difficult.
They did not ask for protection; they asked for power. They did not ask for fire from heaven to destroy the enemy, but for power from heaven to preach the Word and heal the sick. Their great desire was for boldness in the face of opposition. The emphasis is on the hand of God at work in the life of the church, not the hand of man at work for God. Believing prayer releases God’s power and enables God’s hand to move.