Scripture: Acts 5:
34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
Observation: Sometimes its wise to leave it up to God.
Application: It seems that I so often find my brethren in the church feeling as if the whole world is against them and that they have to rally against this or that new cause. It is a constant struggle and fight for the good an upright causes. And while I’m certain that God appreciates our fervor and zeal I think its also wise to realize that God can handle his own battles pretty well.
This becomes even more important to remember when we are dealing with matters of theology, scriptural interpretation, doctrinal differences among believers and things of spiritual nature. That is not to say that you should always keep silent when it comes to sharing your ideas with others, nor am I dissuading the occasional friendly discussion among people of differing opinions. (Notice I put the emphasis on friendly) 🙂 Debating spiritual ideas can be a dangerous game to play, we have to be careful here. Many times I’ve been party to the "friendly" discussions that turned into serious debates that led to heated disagreements. And yes, you can go even further down that road if you aren’t careful.
Most of the time when we talk about a Pharisee in the New Testament it is from a very negative standpoint, but on this occasion I believe that Gamaliel gives some good advice that we can learn a lesson from today. The other members of the Sanhedrin were ready to put the apostles to death for their beliefs, but Gamaliel says – "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God." I think that is wise council for us when we find ourselves getting into one of those "friendly" discussions that seems to be increasing in intensity.
We are all at different places spiritually, and I believe that sometimes God has to bring us through one way of seeing things for a while before He can lead us to a deeper understanding. So rather than trying to force your ideas on another, perhaps just introduce them, plant the seed so-to-speak and then let it go. Who knows, maybe it’s your ideas that need to be rethought in the long run and you might find yourself fighting against God.
That’s your friendly advice for the day. 🙂 I hope you find yourself blessed in a special way today.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe,
Grant me an open mind to hear the thoughts and wisdom that you have blessed others with and let me share any wisdom that you have blessed me with in a positive and helpful way.