by Ruth Olsen
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We must obey God rather than any human authority (Acts 5:29).
Oh, what jealousy can do when we give way to it! See how the angel of the Lord intervened when the high priest and his associates had the apostles arrested and put in the public jail (Acts 5:17–26). Jealousy can blind us and harden our hearts to what the Lord is doing!
Put yourself into the apostles’ shoes. Led out of jail and given instructions on what to do the next day, they followed through. Then they were taken from the temple courts where they were teaching, but not by force, and were escorted back to the waiting Sanhedrin gathering. Imagine the tension. ‘We gave you strict orders … Yet you have [done the opposite]’ (verse 28). To which Peter and the other apostles replied, ‘We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers …’
If you can still imagine being in the apostles’ shoes, what might you be thinking? What is it that makes the difference, giving the apostles courage and ‘holy’ boldness? By ‘holy’ boldness, I mean boldness that is submitted to the Lord, empowered by him and not the boldness of human strength.
The apostles declared they were witnesses to what they testified, ‘and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him’ (verse 32). That’s the same Holy Spirit given to any follower of Jesus! He is the power of God within us! Of ourselves, we are pushovers; but he is not! Jesus relied on him (Luke 4:1–21). Let’s learn of Jesus to do likewise.
Lord Jesus, please show me more of what it means that your Holy Spirit dwells in me. Amen.