“’God exalted Him [Jesus] to His own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those who obey Him.’”
When the Pharisees heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. But a Pharisee named Gamaliel…addressed the Sanhedrin: ‘Consider carefully what you intend to do to these men…Leave these men alone…For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.’
His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. They ordered them not to speak in the Name of Jesus…The apostles left rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day…they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” Acts 5:31-42 (NIV)
Dear Prince and Savior,
Do we fight against You? In our heart of hearts, like Peter, we want to say, “Never! Even if everyone else falls away! Not us! We would die with You.” And yet, like Peter, we do fall, doubt, give way to fear, and know not what we do. We confess we have resisted Your Holy Spirit’s conviction: His urging us to speak or not to speak, to forgive and not hold onto an offense, to serve when inconvenienced, to trust when we are anxious, to be still and wait on You. We have given into unbelief, looking in every direction but up to the hills, from where our Help comes. Master, forgive us for resisting You, fighting You, Who bought us with the price of Your Own blood.
Lord, help us fight the good fight against our old ways. Help us resist the urges of self will and surrender to Your will. Help us to hate the sin You hate for the reason You hate it—the death it brings. We want to experience this overcoming victory and we can! It is pure joy to resist and win! If resisting our own flesh is the only “suffering” we will experience, then let the victory begin! And what is this rejoicing but the pleasure, satisfaction, and freedom to reject the one who hates us, sides with our enemy, robs us, kills us, destroys us! Let us fight the very one who fights the God we love! This is Living the Victory!
In Jesus Name Forever
Photo Credit: Chris Chow: https://unsplash.com/photos/DCqXIFXoqr