God Wants To Show Up
Recently, I was reading through the Book of Acts with a friend. We were excited about how many cool things happened in the early church. God showed up in crazy, miraculous ways.
We were discussing Acts 14:1-3 when Paul and Barnabas were on a missionary journey preaching the gospel and planting churches. Eventually, they met opposition from the Jews who “embittered” people against them. Paul and Barnabas’ response to the opposition was great:
“Therefore, they spent a long time there speaking boldly…”
Their response to difficulty and opposition was to set up shop and keep going for it. They didn’t leave right away. They endured it, lived through it and kept preaching.
What is encouraging is how God showed up. It says that the Lord was “testifying to the Word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands.” Paul and Barnabas made a decision to keep serving the Lord when things got difficult, and the Lord made a decision to miraculously support their ministry. It is so exciting to read about God showing up for people who are all in for Him.
When my friend and I were discussing this, the question came up, “Can anyone really live this way and experience this stuff?” I have to confess that the first thing that I felt in my heart was not a faith-filled excitement. I thought, “I guess not; this must have been unique to these guys at this time.” But as we talked and I thought more about it, I realized, that is a defeated way to look at following Christ!
Do I really believe this stuff or not?
Is anything too hard for God?
Is my faith in a God who only works in the past, or do I believe that my God can work today too?
The next realization that I had was that these guys that were experiencing amazing things at the hand of God weren’t sitting around warming pews. God was showing up because these guys were living it. They were putting their lives on the line. They were boldly preaching the gospel. If I want to see God show up, I have to put myself out there for the sake of his kingdom.
Can I ask you, do you really believe that everything you read in the Bible is for you? Does it all apply today? Are you putting yourself out there for the sake of the kingdom?
God wants to show up.