The third story in Our Story is pretty amazing. Peter and John miraculously heal a lame man, in the name of Jesus, and what a door of opportunity it opens. I think it’s important to note that Peter and John were just going about their business. This was not church work they were doing. This was life they were living and in the process the Holy Spirit creates a divine intersection that ultimately resulted in rapid growth for the early church.
Peter and John speak to the onlookers and the ensuing group of religious officials and tell them about their resurrected Lord. I love Acts 4:13, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” In fact, next verse tells us they were speechless. The Holy Spirit empowered these disciples of Jesus to speak boldly, even when instructed otherwise (Acts 4:18).
The end of the story gets even better. After their encounter with the “religious police,” Peter and John meet up with the other believers and they pray. They don’t pray for safety and protection like you might expect (and like we might pray). They prayed for more boldness. In the midst of threat and persecution, they ask God to enable them to speak with greater boldness. And then they prayed that God would do some more stuff that would draw the attention of unbelieving people in their direction so they could point them the one way (and probably get into more trouble). They asked God to do something powerful through them, not for them. They prayed for healing, but it wasn’t for their own healing. They were totally focused on those who were not yet a part of the story.
Then God seemingly gave an amen to their prayer with a minor earthquake and the Holy Spirit granted them even more boldness. What a story! And it’s a story that is still being written. It’s our story. And the Holy Spirit still has a leading role and still works in powerful ways when his followers listen to him and are open to his leading. Is there anything that is keeping you from letting the Holy Spirit speak to you and empower you with boldness?
The message from Our Story week 3 along with Terri’s story of how the Holy Spirit created a divine intersection and gave her the boldness she needed can be viewed here: