“So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied” (Acts 9:31).
What is a typical day in your life? What does a typical season in your life look like? What is the norm for you and your family? Consider the events of Acts 9.
Acts 9:1-22 shows us the dramatic conversion of Saul. Previously he was a Pharisee seeking to murder Christians. Now, because of Jesus’ intervention, Saul is saved, walking in the Spirit, proclaiming the truth that Jesus is the Christ.
In Acts 9:23-25, many Jews sought to kill Saul because of how he was now working for the Christians, seeking to persuade the Jews to believe that Jesus is God. Running for his life, Saul escaped with the help of the disciples, who lowered him down through an opening in a wall with a basket.
In Acts 9:26-31, the disciples in Jerusalem became overwhelmed that Saul was now a follower of Christ. To protect him, they sent him off to Tarsus, and the church experienced peace as they walked “in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.”
Then in Acts 9:32-43, God uses Peter to heal Aeneas, a paralyzed man bedridden for eight years. As a result of this dramatic miracle, “all the residents of Lydda and Sharon turned to the Lord.” Immediately after this, God used Peter to raise Dorcas from the dead. Dorcas was a godly woman who became sick and died. When Peter came, he went up to the upper room, prayed over her dead body, and she was raised to life.
These stories are all amazing stories. Stories that had commonplace in the life of the early church. Though persecution was present, God was at work, and therefore the church walked in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit as it multiplied. What similarities are there in my life to the life that is lived in Acts 9? Are there any similarities? Is there such a difference that I should be concerned?
The more I’ve been reading the book of Acts, the more I am seeing how common it was for people to see God work in miraculous ways and for them to experience his power. The relationship they experienced with God was a vivid relationship marked by life, vitality, and fruit. My desire is that as I continue to read, my interaction with these miracles in Acts causes me to long for a vivid relationship with God that is marked by life, vitality, and fruit.
The more food we eat, the more food we need to eat. The more sugar we eat as a part of our diet, the more sugar we need to eat in our diet to feel right. The more caffeine we take in, the more our bodies depend on that caffeine to survive. Likewise, the more I study God’s Word, the more I long for God’s Word. This is exactly why I believe that Christians should regularly immerse themselves in the book of Acts. The danger is desensitization to the miraculous. The reward is a deepened appetite and greater longing for life lived in the power of the Spirit. May we be a people who recognize that our relationship with God is not to be merely a part of who we are. May our relationship with God be all of who we are!