Is your activity of “human origin”… or from God?

What if you knew that what you were doing was from God and, as a result, could not be hindered?

One of my favorite passages from the Bible is in the book of Acts. In chapter 5, we find the apostles preaching the Gospel despite being warned by the Sanhedrin–the elders of Israel–not to do that. Upon discovering that the apostles ignored their warning, the Sanhedrin arrest the apostles, throw them in jail and call an assembly. They are so irate, they want to put the apostles to death. Basically for just preaching in the town square.

And then a highly respected Pharisee, Gamaliel, stands up and proceeds to compare the apostles to a couple of other previous rabblerousers who had gotten the crowds all riled up only to be killed and have their followers scattered and dispersed. He then says to the assembly in verse 38, “Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)

How awesome is that?

I doubt the apostles heard that conversation in person, but they probably heard about it eventually (after all, Luke recorded this in Acts, so he heard it from someone.) Imagine hearing a conversation like that about something you are involved in! This is the Bible-times version of the question, “If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?”

We see an even earlier example of this concept in the Old Testament book of Joshua. In just the first chapter, as Joshua is preparing to enter the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the desert with the Israelites, God encourages Joshua three times to “be strong and courageous” because “the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

My challenge is that I rarely feel like Joshua and the apostles must have felt. I rarely feel strong and courageous, and I rarely feel invincible, as though my activities cannot fail because they are from God.

And yet, if I am following the checklist I wrote about in an earlier post, I have to believe that I am in the will of God and that He is not only guiding and directing my activities, but He is also keeping them from being hindered. Does that make sense?

So, here’s what I think needs to happen:

  1. I need to be more intentional about reviewing the checklist;
  2. I need to keep striving to check those boxes on a daily basis;
  3. Having checked those boxes, I need to remember that the activities I choose and purse are from God and therefore, will not be hindered. That doesn’t mean they will always go the way I want them to go or envision them going, but it does mean that God will be in them.

Now go be strong and courageous.

For your advantage,

Brian

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