Summary: From this healing of the crippled man, we see the God’s power flows (1) where there is PRAYER; (2) where there is EXPECTANCY, and (3) where HE WILL BE GLORIFIED.
Look at another event where the power of God flows... Read ACTS 3:1-10
It’s 3.00pm in the afternoon (the hour of prayer in the Temple), Peter & John head up to join the rest.
And on the way in, as they came to the Gate called Beautiful (a gate inlayed with gold and precious stones, an entrance in the Eastern side of the Temple courts) - they came across this man who had been crippled since birth.
A man so lame that he couldn’t even hobble along with the aid of a crutch, but had to be carried around. You can imagine how bad his condition was. Some good friends would carry him every day and lay him at this entrance to the Temple so that he could beg from the people going to pray.
But, as Peter and John approached this particular day he saw them, and so he asked them for money. Most would try to get past him without looking, but Peter said to him: "LOOK AT US! Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." (v.6)
Peter took hold of the man’s right hand and lifted him up. At that moment, "instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong." (v.7)
FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE, he experienced strength! He went into the Temple, walking, jumping and praising God!
What a great miracle! We love to hear stories like this. We long to see the power of God changing people’s lives like that! The question is: In what kind of environment WILL God’s power flow?
We see some basic principles here:
1. GOD’S POWER FLOWS WHERE THERE IS PRAYER
When people turns to God and cry out to Him, we’ll see His power and His great work. Man can only give you silver or gold, but God can heal you completely and give you a miracle. But we need to cry out to Him - only in Jesus’ Name can this man rise up and walk. Only in Jesus’ Name, can this man experience strength for the first time in His life.
The moment to direct our attention to God and pray - we’re tapping onto His power and unleashing that power for our lives.
A church organised a big clean-up day. Several ladies showed up with vacuum cleaners to clean the sanctuary. After an hour of hard work one lady noticed that her machine wasn’t working. She flicked the switch and nothing happened. She turned to notice that the whole time she had been working so hard her vacuum cleaner was not plugged in but she hadn’t noticed because all the noise of the other machines!
Even though there is a lot of noise around and hard work, it doesn’t mean a thing if YOU are not plugged into the power source!
Do you feel that way sometimes? After all the running around and the hard work, little was achieved?
You see something remarkable here - this man has been here, just outside the Temple, for many years. Acts 4:22 tell us he was over 40 years old. He was so near to the Temple of God, meeting the religious people every day, pious people going in and out to pray, yet he remained a crippled all these years! In all their religious fervour, there was NOTHING that these people could offer him! The best they could do was a few copper coins to ease their conscience. They knew nothing about the power of God.
He was so near the Temple and yet so far from the presence and power of God.
Notice something here - when Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the Temple - which for centuries had barred man from the presence of God - was torn in two, right down the middle, FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. It wasn’t the work of man, but the work of God.
It means man and God has been reconciled through Jesus Christ. It means 2 things:
1. We can enter into the Holy of Holies - into His presence and commune with Him.
Heb 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
2. His presence is not confined within the veil. He now lives in the midst of His people. Jesus dwells in our hearts today.
When that curtain was torn away, God was making His final declaration about where He intended to reside - in the hearts of every believer!
The healing presence of God is no longer confined to a place. The crippled man experienced the real power of God’s presence, not in the Temple but outside.