Have you ever been a part of a miracle?
What if we were to have the expectation of God working through us for the benefit of others? We can be used as a conduit of the grace of God for others.
Our mission team to Montana leaves this week, and we go with the expectation that God is going to use us to bless people, as we meet felt needs and share the Gospel. But this expectation should not be reserved for mission teams, this can and should be the way that we live on a daily basis.
How would you like to be used by God in a supernatural way during your everyday routine?
In Acts 3, we read about a miraculous encounter that Peter and John had with a crippled man. The early church was just getting going and they were learning to live as followers of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit. They were living activated by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
We can learn Four Keys from this passage to living an activated lifestyle.
The early church was vibrant as people were meeting daily for prayer and fellowship (Acts 2:46-47). But they were still attached to the traditions and disciplines of the temple as they adhered to the times of daily prayer and teaching. Peter, John, and the other disciples were people of discipline. And I believe the first key to activation is the key of discipline.
Key #1 – Discipline
How we despise the word discipline, but nothing of value is ever achieved without it.
In a few weeks the Olympics will be starting in Tokyo, the athletes are people who have achieved the top of their sport because of their discipline. It is the same with the Christian walk. To be used by God, we need to be disciplined in prayer, Bible reading, evangelism, giving, worship, and fellowship. Discipline is key to activation.
In Acts 3 we read that Peter and John were walking towards the temple and passed a crippled man begging for alms. They probably would have walked right by him, but he called out to them asking for help. In verse 4, we find the second key to activation, “And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” (Acts 3:4). Some translations say, “Peter Fixed his gaze on him.”
There were probably many other people begging at that gate, but Peter saw this man and looked intently at him. We have a pandemic in the world right now, and it’s not COVID. There is a pandemic of people who just want to be seen. Not for fame or fortune, but just to be noticed and valued. I believe that the second key to activation is to really see people.
Key #2 – Seeing People
Seeing people through the lens of the Holy Spirit. Seeing people as human beings that Jesus died and shed his blood for. One of the most dangerous prayers you can pray, is to ask God to give you His heart for people. If He really did that, you would be overwhelmed with love mixed with grief for the pain in peoples lives. Let’s start seeing people.
Peter saw past the lame man’s plea for alms and saw his primary need. His primary need, and the primary need of every human being on the planet is to be reconciled to God.
In verse 6, Peter boldly acts, and God performs a miracle in the power of the name of Jesus. Through the power of the name of Jesus, the beggar was completely healed. Peter did not have the power to heal the man, the power was in the name of Jesus, Peter was the conduit. I believe this is the 3rd key to activation, believing in the power of the name of Jesus.
Key #3 – Believing in the Power of the Name of Jesus.
We cannot perform miracles or repair the brokenness in people, only Jesus can do that. Just like Peter, we need courage to boldly step in, as the Holy Spirit leads us, to be the conduit for a miracle in someone’s life. Bold prayers come from believing who Jesus is and what he has done for us.
Bold prayers come from abiding in Jesus (John 15:7). If you are walking in the will of God, being led by the Holy Spirit, you will be praying the will of God. Peter knew it was the will of God to heal that man, and he boldly called on the power of the name of Jesus.
“Prayer is not an escape from responsibility; it is our response to God’s ability.” Warren Wiersbe
The fourth key to activation is very practical, it is simply whatever God has placed in your hand.
Key #4 – Whatever is in Your Hand
Peter said to the lame man in verse 6, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you…”
For many of us, God has put “silver and gold” in our hands. We have material possessions or skills that can be used by God to be someone’s miracle.
When you give your life to the Lordship of Jesus, he controls all your skills, your energy and your possessions. Being activated by God, means that whatever he has blessed you with can be used for His glory to help someone else.
So, what are the results of being activated?
In Acts 3, we read that a large crowd gathered around Peter and John and the formerly lame man. Peter jumped on the opportunity to preach to the crowd and many people began to accept Jesus as Lord and give glory to God.
However, before the day was over, Peter and John found themselves in jail. For Peter and John, being activated didn’t seem to work out that well. And often when we follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit, it doesn’t always work out as we visualize it. Sometimes it gets messy, sometimes we wonder what on earth we are doing.
But in Acts 4:4 we see that the church grew rapidly to well over five thousand. We don’t always see the fruit of what God is doing. We see the mess around us, but God is transforming lives and people are being saved.
It is all about the glory of God. When we are activated for the kingdom of God, He gets the glory.