It's Time To Take A Stand
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” — Acts 5:29-32
Peter was someone who had learned the importance and value of taking a stand. He had learned this lesson by failing to take a stand. Before these same men in the Courtyard of Jesus's trial, Peter denied his association with Jesus Christ. But this time, Peter was not going to let his fears of men define him. Instead, he would embrace his deepest fears and take a stand for Jesus by acting on his Christian convictions. I bet the words he speaks here are words that repeatedly sounded in his mind over the last couple of months. I can even see him saying to himself — "I must obey God rather than men."
What we learn about God in this situation is that God gives us second chances. And while we might fail to take a stand in one moment, God will often give us another. And in these moments, we need to be prepared to take this stand. But we need to remember we are not taking a stand for ourselves. We are not standing up for our ideas, opinions, and positions even though we embrace them as "ours." We are taking a stand for Jesus and his truth. It's him we follow. It's his truth we embrace. And thus, we are pointing others to Him demonstrating that we fear Him more than we fear mortal man.
And guess what?
When we take this stand, it's risky. It will end up costing us something. It might cost us a relationship, a job, a status, or our life. But this is a part of taking a stand for Jesus. This is the lesson that Peter learned by not taking a stand. He learned that his fear of God must exceed his fear of man. And by acting in faith he lets God own the outcomes of his actions. And that, my friends, is holy fear and adventurous faith.
I believe we are living in a time of preparation. That right now, God is giving us time to prepare for coming persecution. I believe in the coming months and years; we will see increased social persecution of people that hold to biblical truth. This may not be physical in nature, but it will be social. And it will be oppressive. And it will grow. And as it grows, believers will be tested. There will be a distinct division between believers of God and believers of man — just like there is here. And they will be divided based on how they take a stand for God's Truth. Therefore we need to start learning how to take a stand now. God is giving us time to build Peter-like audacity for God's Truth.
So here is your call to action. Take a small stand for Jesus Christ today. Just a small one. And do it now, so when the moment comes to take a bigger one, you will have the audacity to say — "I must obey God rather than man!"
ASK THIS: Where do you need to take a small stand for Jesus today.
DO THIS: Take that stand. Live in faith. And let's prepare together.
PRAY THIS: God, I confess I have bowed to man rather than you. Give me spiritual courage to speak your truth to those I fear. May my fear of you exceed my fear of man. Prepare me and those around me for the social persecution that's coming.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.