Brave Men Do Bold Things
And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.” — Acts 8:24
So what's happened is Simon, who was the David Blaine of his time, has believed in Jesus and been baptized. But days later, he watches as the apostles impart the Holy Spirit by the laying on their hands, and he is fascinated by this event. He, of course, immediately is mystified by the apostles' power and asks if he can purchase this power. But Peter gives him a strong verbal reprimand clarifying that this power is not bought. And after being called out, Simon does not respond as we might expect. He doesn't push back. He doesn't even explain himself. He accepts the challenge and asks Peter, the man who corrected him, to pray for him. I think that's a pretty surprising and mature response.
You know, I think these types of care-frontations are missing from Christian relationships today. There are a lot of reasons why we don't see this anymore. Here are some of my own opinions. Men isolate themselves from male relationships. Men have few, if any, spiritual friends. Men, I believe, have become more averse to being challenged (which is a nice way to say we have become wimpy). Men lack mature spiritual roles models in their life that can speak into them. Men have no idea how to be challenged and respond appropriately. These are some of my thoughts. But maybe you have some of your own, and you can feel free to share them in the comments below.
In this story, we don't get to see what happened to Simon after this event. But there's a great lesson in this for all us who are followers of God today. What you see here are two believing men of differing levels of spiritual maturity. They were within close enough proximity to one another that they could experience one another. And then, one man challenged the intent of the other based on his behavior. Do you see that? One man helped the other because he was close enough to know his intent.
Here's my challenge for you today. It's very specific.
Put yourself in spiritual proximity to another brother. And then let him a trial you are facing. After you lay this trial out there, go one step further and expose the motives you feel behind it and the actions you think you should take. And then ask the hard question to that brother about your trial, motives, and intended actions — "Am I wrong for feeling, thinking, and acting this way?" And then invite him to give whatever feedback he wants while keeping your mouth shut. And when he is done, don't become defensive. Just ask that brother to pray for the intent of your heart.
I dare you to try this. If you are up for the challenge, leave these words below. "All in."
ASK THIS: What trial are you facing right now?
DO THIS: Go get advice, wisdom, and prayer from another brother! If you are in, leave these words in the comments below — "All in."
PRAY THIS: God, purify my intent in the trial I am facing!
PLAY THIS: Purify Me — Desire Worship.
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