Summary: one of a series on Acts
Out of this Present Darkness/Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peritti - are both powerful stories. They illustrate several important reality for Christians today.
We are not in a battle with flesh and blood. We are in a battle with spiritual forces. Eph 6 makes it clear - we are in a real war with the prince of the power of the air!
Look. A modern battle must be fought with modern weapons. Imagine Desert Storm with bows and arrows. This is a little bit silly.
No. It was fought with lasers and cruise missles against an enemy - that was outclassed. Now, that is the way I want to fight a battle!
Spiritual battles must be fought with spiritual weapons. If we fight the battle with only our abilities - we are outclassed. If we fight with God’s - Satan is outclassed.
The Church has been given a mission. It’s the same mission today as it was then. Nothing has changed from then til now.
The mission is not, social action, to be moral policemen or to build build nice sanctuaries.
The simple and powerful orders that Jesus gave still stand.
The Mission is to be witnesses (vs 22) of Jesus - nothing else! Let us determine to serve the king.
The Apostles understood this and did it - but look how they did it! With spiritual weapons not earthly weapons.
They took three very important steps as they began the mission!
Step #1: They waited on God - vs 4
Look at apostles!
Look at the sequence of events after the resurrection
the appearances. The comission. The promise of power
The ascension and angels encouragement.
After all this they waited! - think of it!!!
Peter - waited!
James and John - waited!
Simon the zealot - waited!
Mark - waited!
Thomas - waited!
Extraordinary that they would wait on God - especially Peter. It’s hard to imagine him waiting!
Part of prayer is waiting on God to provide the way and the strength. This is so difficult most of us don’t do it very well at it.
Most Christians don’t pray and don’t wait - they just go. ...and go ...and go... and just keep on going
They look just like the Everready Bunny rabbit. All juice and no direction.
Some Christians don’t pray and but they wait
...and wait ...and wait! - never seem to do anything
Years later - ...still waiting. They look like the old dead batteries - no power.
Some Christians pray and don’t wait
They pray but not for wisdom but with wisdom - theirs
they pray not for answers but with answers - never rundown and never quit
We must pray and wait
Here at BCC - absolutely essential if we will do God’s work God’s way. We have been doing this all Summer
Praying for God’s guidance and vision to be given to us
Yesterday morning the Elders and Ministry Staff met. We confirmed the work of the summer. The vision is clear. The mission is clear.
Now let’s move the barriers and let God work in the people through his people. Pray for the people.
Pray for the workers.
Step #2 They trusted God vs 5-7
Look again at the apostles
They were given command to wait and they did. They asked a question - "when" and "how"?
The answer was, "This is not for you to know...Trust me!"
Extraordinary that they would trust God - Especially Thomas, the doubter.
It’s extremely hard to not try to improve on God’s method’s!
The church is like a balloon filled with helium
you don’t have to make it rise. You just have to move the barriers so that it can rise.
What are the barriers?
Barrier #1: preacher
Barrier #2: program
tradition and cultural
often does not meet needs
Barrier #3: people
comfortable and easy
servants and ministry
children’s area - challenging and important!
We must learn to trust God’s methods of reaching his people. Preaching and teaching the word of God house to house and in the temple! (Acts 20:20)
This is how we are going to do the work at BCC. Just like the good old days - trust God!
Step #3 They Prayed to God
They Prayed for power
God himself to guide and direct the operation they were about to begin! They prayed for Holy Spirit Power
We must not go into battle alone!
They prayed constantly. What that means: It’s not meeting starting and ending prayers. It’s not meal prayers. It’s not go to bedtime prayers.
Prayer was part of the daily activity of their life
It is also a joy!
We are not alone. Prayer is time of refreshment. A drink of water in a long hot day!