Focal Passage: Acts 4:23-31
“But little mouse, you are not alone, in proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes of mice and men go often awry.” Scottish poet Robert Burns penned those words in 1785 in a poem titled, To a Mouse. He demonstrated that people are similar to mice in that they cannot guarantee the success of their endeavors. As the early church began to suffer persecution, believers knew that both Jesus’ suffering and their persecution were part of God’s predestined plan. This truth emboldened them because they knew that no level of opposition would thwart God’s plan.
Although Peter and John had just returned from jail, the church refused to focus its prayers on the opposition. They simply said, “Lord, take note of their threats,” and moved on to ask God to empower their preaching and accompany it with miracles (v. 29-30).
While we need to address spiritual warfare biblically, we must be careful to avoid reactive ministry when God has called us to a proactive declaration of the good news. Reactive ministry means the kingdom of darkness sets the church’s agenda.
Christians must remember that only God can bring down opposition in His way and in His timing. While we wait on His timing in one area, we can be about the Father’s business in other places where He is at work.
Like Peter walking on the water, the church succeeds when it keeps its eyes on Jesus. If we become distracted by our circumstances, we too will begin to sink.
The early church quickly experienced the winds and waves of opposition and persecution. Instead of focusing on these sources of discouragement, the people of God kept looking to Him and experienced His power once again. The same Holy Spirit who came as a rushing mighty wind on the Day of Pentecost shook the meeting place in Acts 4 and gave the church a fresh anointing.
Consequently, God’s people received the answer to the prayer they had just prayed (v. 29), and began to share the gospel with boldness.
Praise God that we go out not as mice or mere men, but Spirit-filled soldiers in God’s army.