We Must Obey God
We’re reading through the Book of Acts in our family Bible reading time and today we read a fantastic passage in Acts 5. Go ahead and read verses 17 to 42. It’s worth reading!
The religious leaders of the day were angry at the disciples who they believed were spreading lies and so they imprisoned them to get them to stop talking. God miraculously “released” them from prison- the guards didn’t even know that they were guarding an empty cell! Of course, the disciples went right back to preaching in the temple. So the high priest goes to them and basically says, “Didn’t I tell you to stop talking about this?!!” And Peter replies in verse 29, “We must obey God rather than man.”
I love this response. It’s not one that I believe you can use flippantly to give yourself permission to do whatever you want. But I do believe that there are times when “men” will expect you to act a certain way or do things the way they want you to, yet you know that what they are asking is contrary to what God requires of you. These times are incredibly hard, because people have a tendency to get mean and threatening when they don’t like what you are doing. But when you KNOW that you have sought the Lord’s will and you are convinced that He leading you in a certain way (that is not contrary to scripture!), then you have to obey God, not man.
And so the disciples had to keep telling people about Jesus.
The passage goes on to give an amazingly wise and logical discussion between Gamaliel, an honored teacher of the law, and the rest of the religious leaders. He tells them about others who had led a group of people “astray” and their rebellions came to nothing. They could rest assured that if the disciples were wrong, they would not last. But if they were truly from God, then nothing the leaders could do would be able to stop them.
My logic loving kids were thrilled with this discourse. How joyous it is to read this passage thousands of years later and know that these disciples were speaking the truth. Their “rebellion” has lasted, it has grown, it has spread. And here we are today, the recipients of the blessing of their faithfulness.
Man can’t stop God. It’s not possible.
I know what side I want to be on.
Obey God, not man!