The Power of Obedience to God:
“18) And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19) But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20) for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”” Acts‬ ‭4‬:‭18‬-‭20‬
“27) When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28) saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29) But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts‬ ‭5‬:‭27‬-‭29‬
The comparison between the above two texts is astounding. The chief priest and the council continued with their threats. They had every intention of making good on them. The apostles were unmovable in their resolve to obey God rather than men. They had every intention to make good on their commission to reach the world with the gospel. What can we learn from comparing these two texts? I shall briefly touch on two points.
First, the chief priest and his council were not against fighting the apostles, they were fighting against God! Gamaliel warned them about this in the next paragraph. “38) So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39) but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”” Acts‬ ‭5‬:‭38‬-‭39‬
He started to recognize the finger of God. This movement was not of man. The Holy Spirit was at work. Beware that you never align yourself against God! It is a loosing proposition.
Second, the apostles were letting God do the fighting for them while they focused on spreading the gospel. They simply obeyed God! The absolute best position we can take in life on any issue is to obey God! This single act positions us under His Word, His authority, His power, His favor, His grace, His love and His sovereignty. Instead of the apostles trying to defend God, He stepped up to defend them!
Every battle in life has these two sides. Those against God and those for God. Those according to the flesh and those according to the Spirit. Those aligned with darkness and those aligned with light. Those who oppose God and those who obey God. I confess, I have been on the wrong side of some battles. If you want to walk with God learn the power of simple obedience!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global