A shadow that heals. Why can’t we do that?
Act 5:12 ¶ And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.
Act 5:15 ….. they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid [them] on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.
Act 5:16 There came also a multitude [out] of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
While most of us believers feel that we are giving God our best, there is something still missing.
We are satisfied with being less than we should be.
We are powerless.
This powerlessness can come from:
1. faking the power, so that true power is blocked
Many think demonstrating the “power of God” consists of yelling very loudly during sermons, or acting aggressively while “on stage.”
Others fake prophecies, claiming they are hearing from God, when they are either
a. making it up,
b. repeating gossip, or something you have already told them, or
c. just entertaining their imaginations.
d. “reading” you while you sit there, using psychology techniques.
Such displays of false authority only cripple the body of Christ. These are displays of egotism.
We need to recall the ministry of Jesus, that he went around quietly, and just with a word, people were healed and delivered from unclean spirits.
2. denying the power
Many are afraid of the power of God, and do not want anything to do with a supernatural experience.
3. lack of interest in the power
Many are satisfied with what they have, and not interested in putting in the necessary time with God to be a proper channel.
Some are very sincere and faithful, yet they do not know what is available to them. They would use the power properly to help others.
So, how do we come to minister as Peter did?
I wish there was a way for Peter to come back and talk to us.
Since I do not consider myself on the same level as Peter, and cannot speak for him, I can only offer observations from the Word.
1. Peter had received a lifetime of learning the Word before he ever met Jesus.
2. Peter was with Jesus constantly during his ministry, and witnessed how Jesus did everything.
3. He left his old life behind.
4. When he denied Jesus 3 times, his ego and world were completely shattered. He was no longer confident in his own spirituality.
5. He asked for forgiveness when he committed the worst sin of his life.
6. He was the one apostle who was willing to step out of the boat on a stormy sea to walk on water, to reach the Jesus he loved.
7. He preached the gospel, knowing that he would eventually die because of it.
How many of us can say that this describes us?
Many newly saved try to go into leadership and ministry after being saved. This is inappropriate. They need to learn the Word first. There is discipline and preparation involved.
How many of us spend all, or most, of their time with the Lord? How many pray daily? How many actually pay attention to God’s actions in the world. Do they recognize them, or think the event is explained by natural means?
Do we cling to our old life, habits, and priorities, while trying to have a relationship with God?
How many of us have been crushed spiritually and emotionally beyond repair? How many of us have had to realize how totally deficient and weak we are, no matter how much we have learned or have done for God? Are we still too impressed with how smart or righteous we are?
Are we humble enough to admit that in our moment of feeling the most righteous, that we have still failed God, and betrayed him with our lives? We still have our fleshly bodies and nature, and we still fail God daily.
Can we ask for forgiveness daily, as there are always things we do wrong?
Are we willing to do the impossible, risk our lives, and give God all the glory, while we fade away in the shadows?
Are we ready to die? Or is life still too precious to us, that we protect ourselves by inaction, and avoiding what we must do for the Lord?
I have read Acts many times.
But this last time around, when I read about Peter’s shadow, all I could think was
“Wow,” this is not what we see today. We have all fallen short.”
It really humbled me to read about Peter.
It made me look into the mirror, and see myself as deficient.
There is so much more we could all do for the Lord, if we would just do what Peter did.
While I am a product of the grace of God, someday I will be judged for my works.
And right now, I have not done enough.
I must do more, and be more.
I must be what God had planned for me.
Pray for me, and I will pray for you.
We cannot rest until our shadows also heal.