The Story: 394-398 (stopping at “…and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”
“Then [Gamaliel] said to his colleagues, ‘Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men! Some time ago there was that fellow Theudas, who pretended to be someone great. About 400 others joined him, but he was killed, and all his followers went their various ways. The whole movement came to nothing. After him, at the time of the census, there was Judas of Galilee. He got people to follow him, but he was killed too, and all his followers were scattered. So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!'” Acts 5:35-39
Is it just me, or is this story extremely comforting? If you’re doing something for God, no one will be able to overthrow you. No one will be able to stop you, hinder you, perhaps. But stop you? No way! If God is for you then WHO can be against you? And if they ARE against you, then they will find themselves fighting against God. And you’ve got to know as well as I do what a pointless battle that is! It’s a dreadful thing to fall into the plan that fights AGAINST God! I’ve been there, I’ve tried it. It DOESN’T work. Trust me.
But then there are the plans that fight WITH God… mmmmm, those are the BEST plans. Those are the plans that no matter what happens to try and trip you up and make you fall, they still end up succeeding! Just look at Joseph! God gave him the “plan” in a dream. And almost immediately that plan was thrown into a tizzy. He was flung into a pit by his o-so-loving brothers, then they sold him into slavery where he went to work for Potiphar in Egypt. But then after working there for a while Potiphar’s wife decided that if she couldn’t have Joseph then no one could. And he ended up getting thrown into Pharaoh’s jail where everything he touched practically turned to gold earning him favor and prestige. Until one day Pharaoh himself called for Joseph so that he could take advantage of his dream interpretation skills, which ended up earning him the second highest position in all of Egypt. When a severe famine hit the land it forced Joseph’s brothers to travel to Egypt in order to get food from none other than Joseph himself, whom they’d written off as good as dead. The moment that they bowed in submission to him (without knowing yet that it was Joseph) the plan that God had given him in his dream came to fruition. In all the things that the Enemy threw into Joseph’s path in order to keep him from becoming everything that God had planned for him, all Satan did was push Joseph to EXACTLY where he was supposed to be.
In today’s Word of the Day the apostles were being held for questioning because they had healed a crippled man and had been teaching in the name of Jesus. By the sound of it the majority of the high council was highly intimidated by these “unschooled ordinary men” who spoke so boldly; obviously they had spent time with Jesus. In their fear of the apostles the high council wanted to get rid of the apostles. But the wise one among them, clearly impressed by the signs and wonders committed by these apostles and perhaps some of their teaching, spoke up. In his wisdom he had noticed that when these two other upstarts had gathered a following, when they died the movement died with them. Yet that’s not what was happening with the death of Jesus, instead it was spreading… RAPIDLY! And with signs and wonders!
If God is not in this, then it will fail.
If God is in this, then it can not fail!