Verse: Acts 4:29-30
29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
When I read this today I was reminded of this really weird incident recorded in Luke 9 where some people did not welcome Jesus and the disciples. As a result: "When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”" (Luke 9:54)
Kind of an interesting parallel isn't it? In Luke, when threatened, they wanted to destroy the people out of anger and maybe fear. In Acts, when threatened, they pray for a different kind of fire to fall from heaven. They pray for more of the Holy Spirit—not so they can destroy—but so they can save.
I think we can read between the lines and see the heart change of the disciples. They go from wanting to destroy, to wanting to heal, restore, and save. And it makes me think, which version of the disciples are we more like?
In today's society I see a lot of "calling fire down" happening. We are encouraged in our society to take sides, to demonize others, to emphasize differences, to assume the worst of the other side, and more. Even Christians are doing this. Christians are bemoaning how terrible the society is and some wish for judgment on those they disagree with.
I wonder if we need a heart change? Certainly no one in America is being imprisoned for their faith, and commanded not to speak about Jesus. But that's what just happened to the disciples in Acts 4. Their response? Not anger. Not complaining. Not calling down the judgment of God. No. They prayed for revival. They prayed for God's Spirit to come in such power that they would preach more boldly, and pray with more power so that people could be healed and saved.
This morning let's ask God to work in our hearts. Which kind of fire are we praying for on those who mistreat us, hurt us, or disagree with us?
I pray that you would give me a heart that burns for the salvation of others, even those I vehemently disagree with.