Wisdom Devotionals

Pulling the Strings

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Acts 5:38-39

So in the present case, I (Gamaliel) say to you, stay away from these men (the apostles) and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.

Sometime ago, I travelled with my parents to Monte Carlo, France, to celebrate Missions to Military’s 25-year anniversary – a missions organization my father started when I was a child.

Upon arriving, we travelled to the Trans World Radio transmitter building which stood on a picturesque hillside overlooking the sea in Monaco. This building had been used to beam the Gospel for decades throughout that region. It was an impressive building with large white columns that created a picturesque setting on that hillside.

The amazing story behind this building is that it was actually built by Hitler during World War II. Hitler built it expressly to transmit his demonically inspired ideology throughout France. Thankfully – and somewhat ironically – that message died with Hitler, and God replaced it on the airwaves with His eternal message of life and hope!

Gamaliel was right in Acts 5:38-39. If the apostles’ were teaching lies, their message would eventually be silenced. But if their power truly came from God, it would transcend centuries and cultures and continents.

That is exactly what has happened. Jesus promised in Matthew 16:18, “I will build My Church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it,” and the fulfillment of that promise is seen in the fact that we are alive today!

Paul said in Philippians 1:6, “I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus,” and that means you and I are living proof of Christ’s resurrected power! We are the 21st Century evidence of Christ’s 1st century promise.

How did the Church survive over the years amidst grueling opposition? How were the Scriptures preserved in spite of constant attempts by men to destroy them? The same way Moses was able to lead Israel through the Red Sea, and Rahab was able to enter the Messianic line, and astronomers from Persia were able to find the newborn Son of God! God was behind it all, pulling the strings according to His sovereign plan.

Are you finding that same truth to be evident in your own life today? You may not always perceive what God is doing. You won’t always understand it, and you’ll certainly feel lost at times. But when you look back do you notice God’s faithfulness? Make sure you’re thanking Him for the way He has directed you in your life thus far.

You are a “living stone” according to 1 Peter 2:5, and that means you are still under construction. It doesn’t matter if you’re seventeen or seventy; you aren’t fully polished yet! Still more needs to be chiseled away and sanded smooth. So be grateful for each new development. Be thankful for the refining process, even when it feels confusing and painful.

The validation may not come in your preferred timing . . . but it will come in God’s perfect timing.

Prayer Point: Take some time to read back through past journal entries or ponder afresh all that God has brought you through in your life. Then thank Him for remaining faithful to you, even though you haven’t deserved it. 

Extra Refreshment: Read Paul’s amazing words in Ephesians 2, and notice especially verses 12-22, where he likens believers to a temple that is being built on the cornerstone of Christ.