I am doing a series on Acts, one chapter at a time to see what we can learn, this is about chapter 3. I know that I may get out a different lesson to what you may, that is one of the beauties about the Bible, every time you read it, you get something new out. It doesn’t matter how often you read it, you will always learn. I also don’t go too deep into each chapter, just pull out a few things that speak to me. I encourage you to go and read the relevant chapters and see what God has to say to you. Here we go with chapter 3. Read the whole chapter and then take a look at Acts 3:4-8.
Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.
There is so much to learn here, and I can say that I have done some of it, but there is one part in particular that I see as a huge challenge. The first thing that I see in the verses that I have highlighted here, is that the man was expecting one thing and Peter (and John) had something else in mind. This is vital when ministering to people. I have had so many people come to me for ministry and ask for prayer for something, I then ask God what He wants to do. The two often differ. I chose to listen to God, not because the person is wrong, just because God knows best. I have even seen people healed from what they wanted healed, because God healed them from something else which seemed unrelated. When ministering to someone, don’t just address their need, see what God wants to do, and lead with that. If Peter had money, do you think he just would have given some? I doubt it. Not that giving money is wrong, just that healing someone is so much better.
Now we move onto the healing. This is the part that excites me. Peter didn’t pray for the person, or ask God if it was His will that the person be healed. He merely told him to get up and walk, and he used the mighty Name of Jesus. He knew the authority that he had (and we have) and he did it. No lack of faith, no unbelief, he trusted in what God had said and he did it. Now I do this too, but I have to say that my success rate is not as high as Peter’s. Why? I have too much unbelief. It is something that I am working on, it doesn’t come right overnight, but it is a problem. This is what we should be striving for, commanding healing with such faith and lack of unbelief that it has no choice but to happen. This is not ‘forcing God’s hand’, it is merely forcing the demons and illnesses to vacate according to the will of God and to fall in line with what Jesus died for. When healing happens, it is not because God decided to heal, it is because we have finally got our actions and faith in line with what God has already provided. By His stripes we WERE healed. Jesus said that His job is finished. It is our turn now!
Now the last point I wish to make is the hardest one to swallow. This is one that I have never done, and I need to pluck up the courage to do it. Just because I haven’t done it, doesn’t make it incorrect though, I need to change here. Once Peter had commanded that the man be healed, he grabs the man and lifts him up. Now please note that the man is only healed as he lifts him up. This is incredible. Let’s just imaging for a minute that someone in a wheelchair comes to you for healing and God says that you must heal them. No pressure. You may be like me, and you may understand this theology and command that the person be healed in Jesus Name (as Peter did), but would you have the faith to pull someone out of a wheelchair? Most of the people reading this are probably in the UK or the USA, can you imagine the legal charges if you are wrong and the person falls down? Fear. Unbelief. Peter didn’t have any. I unfortunately do. This is what I am trying to remove. So how do I do that? Read the scripture, meditate on the word. Let these lessons soak in and go from mere head knowledge to actual belief and faith. Submerge yourself in the Holy Spirit, pray in tongues. Fully embrace the kingdom of God and what it has to offer you here on earth. I encourage you to join me in this.
Let’s move the mountain.