An Unexpected Voice Of Persuasion
But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice. — Acts 5:34, 38-39
When it comes to taking a stand for Jesus, we sometimes hesitate because we play the scenario forward and perceive that our stand will meet only with resistance. And sometimes it will. But we may also fail to consider how God is going to help us in that resistance.
In this case, the followers do take a stand. They take a hardstand. And it meets with a lot of resistance. But on the council that day was a man named Gamaliel. He was the president of the council and one of the most influential teachers of the day. He was most well known for being the mentor of a Pharisee named Saul, who became the apostle Paul that wrote most of the New Testament. And at this moment, we see a rare glimpse of Gamaliel's influence and intellect. And after putting out the disciples and making a short presentation, he calms the council down, garners agreement, and essentially advocates for God.
I don't know how the followers felt about this, but the outcome is pretty unexpected. It might even constitute a minor miracle of supernatural advocacy by God.
So here's the takeaway.
As we take a stand for Jesus, we have to come to terms with the opposition we will encounter. But sometimes, because taking a stand is so challenging, we fail to see that God might have a voice on the side of the opposition. A voice he put there to help us. A surprising voice of influence and intellect that will speak up for us on God's behalf.
So don't always believe that when you take your stand that "everyone" is out to get you. Not everyone is. And when you take a stand, you may discover that those on side of the opposition might also be on God's side.
ASK THIS: Where in your life have you been hesitant to take a stand because you believe everyone is out to get you?
DO THIS: Take a stand and see if God does something surprising.
PRAY THIS: God, I am ready to take a stand. Have voices of influence and intellect ready on the other side.
PLAY THIS: Courageous — Casting Crowns.
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