Originally posted: 1/25/2020
Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands, (14:3).
Reliance: “a person or thing on which someone depends.”
I found it fascinating. As they boldly spoke with reliance upon the Lord, it was the Lord who was testifying to the word of His grace. This phrase, testifying to, is also translated as, “confirming, proving, bearing witness, affirming, showing their message as true.” I was breathless. It is not my job to prove anything, He alone is to be Our Reliance, the One on which we are to depend.
Consider Him, Our Reliance
Him, Our Reliance against unbelief…
But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren, (14:2).
Him, Our Reliance to speak boldly…
Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord… (14:3).
Him, Our Reliance to validate His truth…
…the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands, (14:3).
Him, Our Reliance to bring unity…
But the people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles, (14:4).
Him, Our Reliance to thwart the enemy’s schemes…
And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them, 6 they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region; (14:5-6).
Him, Our Reliance to sustain His call…
and there they continued to preach the gospel… 19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. 20 But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city… (14:7, 19-20).
Him, Our Reliance to strengthen souls…
…The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, (14:20-21).
How are we to respond to Him, Our Reliance?
The Christian life is not an easy one. If it were, we would soon forget on Whom it all depends. Faith is absolutely essential to both fulfill His call and please Him.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them, (Ephesians 2:8-10).
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, (Hebrews 11:6).
Any work He calls us to is a call to faith in Him, Our Reliance, as He bids us to work out what He alone has worked within each of His own.
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure, (Philippians 2:12-13).
Facing the countless challenges in sharing the message of salvation with unbelieving minds, of speaking boldly to convey His truth, in longing for His unity to begin and the enemy’s attacks to be stopped, and persevering in order to be His vessel of encouragement can be daunting… when attempting these in our own strength.
May we be ever mindful He has not called us to face these challenges on our own, as it is not within our own ability to convince, unite or encourage anyone. The Holy Spirit alone can touch and stir hearts to respond. The Lord has called us to simply obey and trust Him and to live in that place of faith.
And it is in that place, the place of faith, that He enables us to experience His power and be filled with the joy, peace and hope, of Him, Our Reliance.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, (Romans 13:8).