In Acts 3, following the miraculous healing of the man born lame, a crowd gathers in the temple. Peter begins to preach, and in the introduction of his sermon he asks two questions.
“… Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?” (Acts 3:12)
Peter asks, “Why are you astounded or astonished? Why are you surprised? Why are you struck with wonder?” In effect, “What is it about Jesus of Nazareth that you don’t get?”
He then continues, “Why do you keep looking at us like we are something special? We are not that skilled or powerful. Neither are we so pious or holy.
Putting the two thoughts together, Peter was basically saying …
It has nothing to do with WE; it has everything to do with HE.
Friends, quit making too much of men. Those whom Christ is using greatly in his service, they are not special. They are just cracked pots, sanctified, set apart, and used by God to fulfill his personal desires and ambitions. When you look at a family, a church, an institution, or a business that is thriving, give God all the glory.
Quit making too much of strategy and skill. One cannot program and manipulate the Holy Spirit and his fruit. He does what he wants, when he wants, through whom he wants. I suppose it is good to have coaches and consultants. It is not wrong to read books and see what other successful people and institutions are doing. It is always good to learn, and planning is to be commended. But never let us think the Holy Spirit is like a genie in the bottle — If we stroke him correctly and say the proper words, he will act as our divine servant and grant our three wishes.
Quit thinking that they – through whom Christ works – are especially holy. As a matter of fact, if they are holy, they will be the first to tell you they are not. Holy men think not of themselves; their only boast is in Christ alone. Holy men care about righteousness. Holy men practice repentance. But holy men know their sin is great, know their sin is greater than they even imagine, and do not consider themselves anymore righteous than any other redeemed saint.
Allow these truths to be freeing for you. You do not have to get your act together for Christ and his Spirit to work through you. You do not have to be so skilled or powerful. You do not have to ramp up your holiness level. Contrary to the very common statement, you do not even have to allow the Holy Spirit to work through you. No, the Holy Spirit is pretty powerful. (That’s an understatement!) He does what he wants to regardless of cooperation or partnership. He freely works in, with, on, by, and through soulless animals, faithless sinners, fraudulent believers, and redeemed saints. He is ambitious. He is unstoppable. He is sovereign, irresistible, effective, and omniscient. That’s who HE is.
Therefore, let this drive us to prayer. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Holy Spirit is still alive and well. He still uses men like Peter and John. He can still use you. Let us take our focus off of WE. All glory, praise, honor, and confidence goes to HE.
(And yes mom, I know this is poor grammar.)