Acts 4:24-26 – “And when they heard this, they raised their voices to God with one mind and said, ‘Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND EVERYTHING THAT IS IN THEM, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said,
‘WHY WERE THE NATIONS INSOLENT,
AND THE PEOPLES PLOTTING IN VAIN?
‘THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND,
AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER
AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS CHRIST.’”
The spirit of the world has always worked through the rich and the powerful; that’s just how it works. The political leaders and religious leaders joined together at the time of Christ and the early church to try to stop the spreading of the gospel. We have also seen the overreach of government all over the world using the latest pandemic to try to hinder the gathering of the church and the spreading of the gospel. Everything from travel restrictions, crowd restrictions, mask mandates, and vaccination mandates have been thrown at us over these last two years. It may be a little more subtle than the “don’t preach in His name” threat the priests gave the apostles, but subtle can even be more nefarious. Just as the disciples drew a line in the sand and said we must obey God, there are times when, we too, must say enough is enough. Here is how the Cornerstone Commentary describes the disciples’ prayer that came in response to the threats:
“Opposed by the council yet determined to obey their Lord, the apostles reported to their fellow believers the commands and threats of the Sadducean priests and elders. The body of believers immediately went to prayer. In united, corporate prayer, they addressed God as “Sovereign Lord” (despotēs). In praising God as creator of all things and as speaker and fulfiller of a prophetic word (his certain, purposeful, saving involvement in the affairs of history), the believers proclaimed the scope of his control, even over the threats of the Sanhedrin. Emphatically, both Father and Spirit speak through the mouth of David, who is, at once, “our ancestor”, the church is in continuity with the true people of God, and “your servant.” God predicted that opposition against him and his anointed one, though militant and united, would in the end be only a “futile plan”.”
So we must also look to the Sovereign Lord who ultimately controls all things. Like the early church did, we must ask for courage and power to preach Christ to this generation with the power of signs and wonders. This is our moment. We must go forward unafraid with eyes wide open.