This morning I was ruminating on Acts 4. Throughout my lifetime, I've always thought of the book of Acts as the spiritual highlight reel of the Superheroes of the Faith. But as I read Acts again, I am beginning to believe that it's not that at all. It's more like a glimpse into the life of ordinary men and women who truly believed what God said was true and lived by taking Him at his word.
Maybe I should start living much the same way.
I look at Peter, who just a few chapters prior in the book of John, was involved in the infamous Trifecta of Betrayal, ashamed to acknowledge even knowing Jesus. Now he defends Jesus (along with John) when his life is in jeopardy. He spent a night in jail with John because of his words.(It probably didn't bode well for these Christian leaders to have a criminal record...I'd lose my job if I spent a night in jail as a pastor). Peter, the Rock, stands up and defends Christ with all the courage in the world.
Verse 13 hit me this morning: "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." As I have been working on the manuscript of the book I am writing on risk, I find Peter as a great reminder that risking obedience is open to anyone and everyone. It also makes me wonder, Are people able to take note that I have been with Jesus today?
I am encouraged in realizing that if Jesus can use a regular, ordinary guy like Peter, he could probably use a guy like me, too.
I found a great poem from Maggi Dawn's blog last week that sums up what my prayer life needs to look like much of the time. Pray for me that I would live this prayer.
Disturb us, Lord,
when we are too well pleased with ourselves;
when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little;
when we arrive safely because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord,
Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess
we have lost our thirst for the Waters of Life;
having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity;
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly -
to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery;
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
We ask you push back the horizons of our hopes,
and to push us in the future with strength, courage, hope and love.
-Sir Francis Drake