Summary: Learning how to be the church in today's world through learning from the book of Acts.
 Has God ever asked you to do something that was really hard? You knew God wanted you to do something, but you had a difficult time following through. Even though you knew it was the right thing to do; that it was God’s thing to do; but you just couldn’t do it?
[Seeing car with flashers on while going to the office story.]
Sometimes the things God calls us to do are things in the moment. Sometimes the things He asks us to do concern our entire lives.
- What kind of person we’re going to marry
- Career, ministry
- Ministry at church
- Witnessing to family members
- Having kids, fostering, adopting
- Handling our finances, tithing
- Personal purity
Do you ever have a problem doing what God wants you to do?
Well there’s a couple of things we need to understand that will help us obey God more
consistently. We need to understand the inside vs the outside when it comes to obeying God.
You see, there’s always going to be outside pressure to disobey God. Always! Everywhere you go there’s people who try and bring you down; opportunities for unfaithfulness; influences from tv and books and magazines that can change your thinking. Even our own flesh, the outer shell of who we are, will at times try and tempt us away from obeying God.
But, if who we are on the inside is strong enough, it doesn’t matter what outside pressures come. The core of who we are will enable us to obey regardless of the obstacles that stand in our way. We can do what God wants us to do.
Now you might think that God has called you to do something that’s impossible. Something that’s so hard you just don’t know how it’s going to get done. But as we look at the obstacles the early church had to go through, we’re going to get some principles that will help us do what God wants us to do.
Turn with me to Acts chapter five as we remember what’s going on with the early church. Very early in the church’s history their leaders, Peter and John, were thrown into jail and warned to quit preaching about Jesus Christ. But of course that didn’t stop them. They were on a mission to help as many people as possible come to faith in Jesus Christ and nothing would slow them down. And really, they were accomplishing that mission.
[Read Acts 5:12-16.]
Things were going so well. They were doing what God had called them to do. But opposition to their obedience was coming. The Jews wanted them silenced and were willing to do whatever it took to destroy the early church.
Would it work? Could harsh opposition get these Christians to turn their back on God? No way. You see these believers were inwardly filled with  purpose that moved them to obey despite the obstacles.
[Read Acts 5:17-23.]
The Apostles were in the Temple preaching as usual. It seems that this time instead of just Peter and John going to jail, all twelve of them made the trip. In the middle of the night an angel walked them through the locked prison walls and right past the prison guards without anyone noticing. Once they had their freedom the angel tells them to go right back to the Temple and continue preaching the gospel. And that’s exactly what they did.
They didn’t go home to take a nap. They didn’t run off into hiding. They didn’t argue with the angel about evangelistic strategy. They simply obeyed. They went right back to the Temple and did the same thing that’s gotten them thrown into jail two times already!
Now, they knew the risk. They knew it wouldn’t be long until the authorities found out where they were. They knew they’d probably be thrown back into jail and this time they might even be executed. But nothing was going to stop them from fulfilling the mission Christ had given them. They were so committed to their purpose of helping people get saved that their own personal comfort or even safety was a non-issue. Purpose moves us to obey despite the obstacles.
[Kokou Locou story.]
When God calls you to do something, no matter how big or small, don’t let the outside obstacles stand in your way of obedience. Let the purpose God has given you move you to fulfill whatever it is that God’s called you to.
- Staying married
Purpose moves us to obey despite the obstacles.
Well just like they thought, the religious rulers caught up to them and once again they’d be standing before a powerful, angry council having to answer for their actions. But instead of caving in or apologizing in an attempt to save themselves, they allowed their  principles to keep them obedient when questioned by the opposition.