Blog
June 23, 2014, 12:00 PM

Is Being in the Center of God's Will the Safest Place?


Acts 5:17-42

by Pastor Sonny

In the recorded event of Peter and the other Apostles' arrest we see some interesting dynamics. We see God work powerfully to free them once only to send them right back into the trenches, which would lead them to their first recorded flogging in Acts. 

All too often, as pointed out in a book I recently started reading (The Insanity of God, by Nik Ripken), we find ourselves being sucked into the idea that as long as we are right smack dab in the middle, or center of "God's Will" we will be safe. Is that observation true? Let's just ask a few questions to see if this is not the case. How do you respond when difficulty comes smashing into your life? Do you find yourself asking, "what did I do wrong?" How do you respond when you are rejected for standing up for Christ? Do you assume automatically that you had the wrong approach? 

Is it possible that you could very well be in the center of God's will and still experience hardship, rejection, sickness, and the such? The reality is that God doesn't promise that blessing always comes in the form of the lack of hardship or anything related to that. Actually, you have passages where Jesus says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted....blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:4,10) 

In the event recorded in Acts 5 we see the Apostles doing exactly what Jesus commanded them to do and they experienced resistance, rejection, persecution, and hardship. I found it very interesting that the Apostles left from that beating rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for the Name, Jesus. Luke didn't record Peter asking the rest of the Apostles, "Ok, so what did we do wrong in that approach? What did we do to deserve this? How should we change our strategy?" In reality the Apostles actually took their beating as a privilege ("Then they left...rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name." Acts 5:41) It is not only a privilege to suffer for Christ but, it is also a part of God's Will. Peter states, "Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good." (1 Pet. 4:19) Do we have a category for this? Do we have room in our minds and understandings of God and His working in our lives to accept this? I hope and pray we do because we may find ourselves depicting a God that is not The One True God but, an Americanized God. 

So, what does this do for us? How are we supposed to take this idea? Should we then say, "the safest place is not to be in the center of God's Will?" Maybe the issue is not really our safety. Maybe the issue of God's will has little to do with us rather, it has infinitely more to do with God. Perhaps the question we ought to ask is, "Is it worth my safety, life, health, career, or everything to be found in or at the center of God's will?" Maybe even that question is still self-centered. Can we really answer the question of, "Is it worth it?" All attempts to answer that question are only feeble at their best if they try to give reasons outside of a resounding "YES!" Can you or anyone measure the infinite value of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ? IT'S INFINITE! Can we really compare anything to Him and His beauty?

Only to be tied to His name as a follower is grace in itself and glorious. This my friend is what the Apostles relished in. I wonder if that is what we relish in. Do I or we long to be identified with Jesus in every way? Being identified with Christ, or like Christ, is to be at the center of God's Will. This, when it is played out includes joy, peace, father-son relationship, pleasure, power, victory, along with hardship, resistance, rejection, and even being with little. Are you satisfied with this? Is Jesus enough? 

Let us join with Paul, who most definitely represented the heart of the Apostles in Acts 5, and say, "that  I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death..." (Philippians 3:10) The Apostles walked with Jesus and new His power, tenderness, love, and providence. They knew His wisdom. They knew His crucifixion, fear, and the relief of seeing Him in His resurrection glory. Yet, they did not know the sweetness of knowing Him in suffering. They did not know what it meant to be like their Master. Yet, when they tasted it for the first time they tasted the sweetness of Jesus' love for them, not just the bitterness of the flogging. It was then that they had a little glimpse and got know of how much their Master endured for them. In this they found reason to rejoice.

While being in the center of God's will is NOT the "safest" place to be, it is definitely the sweetest place to be! In the center of God's Will is to be found with Christ. We cannot be found there without longing to know Him in all aspects. Therefore, let us commit to knowing Jesus through and through. He is infinitely worthy it! Oh, to know Him, 'tis the sweetest gift!



Comments

06-27-2014 at 9:29 AM
Elio Maldonado
There is no other place I would want to be but in the center of God's will. He has an awesome plan for me. I might not always understand it but I know it's what he wants for me. I have complete faith in the works of Christ in my life as well as my family's life.
Post a Comment


Contents © 2019 Belen Baptist Church | Church Website Provided by mychurchwebsite.net | Privacy Policy