My twitter followers will already know this, but I was awake from approximately 4:15-5:30 this morning. My brain was on loud. It took me a while to realize that I had in fact woken up from sleeping and that I wasn’t still trying to fall asleep. Once I checked my phone and saw the time I immediately thought “well, this is dumb, why did I wake up?” I could not make my stream of consciousness shut off. So, I read through the seven or so tweets that had been posted from 1 am – 4:15 am, I checked my Facebook notifications, I tried to fall back asleep. Nope, nothing was making me tired. I felt like I had been drinking coffee and couldn’t sit still or get the jitters to stop. Then I remembered something I read in my friend Gabby’s blog a while back- a pastor of hers from home had said that if you cannot sleep that maybe it’s because God wants you to talk to Him. So I prayed for a little while, and asked God to help me fall asleep so that I would be awake and excited about the day to come. He put it on my heart to open my Bible. I read Acts 1-3. It was so encouraging and uplifting, even though it was at 5 in the morning, that I wanted to share it.
Luke begins the book of Acts by talking about Jesus’s promise of the Holy Spirit.
“And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” ” (Acts 1:4-5)
Luke then goes on to tell the story of Jesus’s departure to Heaven and the events that followed. They chose Matthias to replace Judas as one of the twelve apostles, the Holy Spirit came and allowed the apostles to speak in the tongues of many nations. Then Peter gave a sermon in which he quoted David saying
“I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
therfore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.” (Psalm 16:8-11)
What up David! Talk about finding peace in the Father. My real amazement came in chapter 3. I know this is a lot, but it is seriously so worth reading.
“Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” (Acts 3:1-10)
Basically, Peter, having steadfast, unwavering faith in the Lord, performed a miracle in the name of Jesus Christ. Why was he able to do this? Where did this power come from? From the Holy Spirit that now dwelt in him. Now the coolest part. That Holy Spirit that was alive in Peter? Yeah, It’s alive in us too. Those who believe in Jesus Christ and have been indwelt with the Holy Spirit now live with the divine power of the Almighty Creator God. What?! You’re probably thinking, okay, so how come people can’t perform miracles like this today? I’m not going to pretend like I have all the answers to that question. I know that there is one that is true though. Lack of faith. I was talking with my Dad a few weeks ago about how much I worry. He responded with a profound truth: “Emily, you lack faith. You know that God is sovereign, you know that He is in control, but you lack faith in this promise.” So true. There’s that overwhelming sin again. Satan loves opportunities to establish worry and doubt in our minds. So reading this truth about the miracle Peter performed was exactly what I needed. I am convinced that God woke me up this morning to remind me of the power that He has to work through me. That I need to trust Him in that and pray that He would rid me of these thoughts because Jesus came, Jesus died, Jesus conquered the grave, Jesus saved. My God is greater than any petty fear or worry I have. And He, and all of His power, lives in me.