Have you ever noticed that for you to get “faster, stronger or smarter” it takes effort? There is a natural beginning spot in most of life and if you are going to find yourself in a different spot, you will need to do something to get there. In fact, you could say there is something naturally “opposing” you from ending up at that new place.
For instance, if you want to learn to speak French, you will need to dedicate time, energy and effort to become bilingual or you will continue to rely upon subtitles during that next French film. Or let’s say that you want to learn to dribble a basketball with your left hand; this will not occur just by thinking about it during your next daydreaming session. If you are going to adequately learn to dribble a basketball with your “offhand,” you will need to commit time, energy and effort to conquer the natural “opposition” that tells you to just use your right hand – you are naturally better with that hand.
When it comes to walking with our God I think this “opposition” perspective is also very real. For me to become a person of faith, I need to actually have faith. If I claim to have faith in God but never live by faith or trust God’s Word and Ways to guide me, then I am only living a life that talks about faith instead of actually possessing faith. Faith requires for me to move from trusting myself and my ways to truly trusting God.
In the same way, the Church of Jesus Christ claims to follow Jesus in the good times and the tough times. How will we react to opposition? Jesus has shown us what to do. We are to hold onto truth and love at the same time. We are to be proclaimers of grace and forgiveness while standing up against injustice and oppression. This will not be easy! We will need each other’s encouragement and gifts to get to this new place of living lives of faith.
This is exactly what we see happening in our passage for this Sunday. In the fourth chapter of Acts the opposition that stood against Jesus now rises up again against Jesus’ Church. What we see happen is both beautiful and powerful. The believers cry out to God in prayer for boldness [vss. 23-31]. God hears their prayers and they receive His strength. They move to a new place of bold and radical dependence upon God and each other. The Church is on the move and it is absolutely magnificent! God wants nothing less for His Church today.
Boldly United in Christ,
Pastor Nick Mundis