Acts 4 says, referring to the apostles …
And when they had prayed these things, the building that they were in was shaken.
It was as if that precise geographic location had experienced the arrival of its Creator in Sovereign Lordship, and it shuddered in pleasure.
“The earth shook; the heavens also dropped at the presence of God; even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.”
“Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob” (Psalm 114:7).
HAVE YOU EVER STOPPED TO PONDER THE STRANGE SIGNS THAT THE LORD USED IN THE BOOK OF ACTS, AND WHY?
At the FIRST filling of the Spirit described in Acts 2, flames of fire rested upon each one of them; but although fire burns, they were not harmed.
At the SECOND filling of the Spirit described in Acts 4, the building where they were meeting was shaken; but although earthquakes collapse buildings, they were not crushed.
In both of these incidents, God used a manifestation of overwhelming power that nevertheless failed to harm His people in any way.
THE FILLING OF THE SPIRIT BRINGS POWER AT A DANGEROUS LEVEL, BUT IT IS A POWER TIGHTLY CONTROLLED TO PROTECT THOSE ON WHOM IT COMES.
Power and Protection.
I know a man who created an invention that tags every person on the battlefield so that if a machine gun strafes across the entire field, it will stop when it gets to one of our own, and then continue firing after it crosses the path of our own soldier. No more American soldiers dying of friendly fire!
I can’t tell you if the US military is using that invention yet, but I can tell you that they bought his invention for hundreds of millions of dollars.
While our most advanced minds are trying to figure out how to do these things …
Our Lord has ALWAYS been able to exert limitless power that was COMPLETELY safe for His own people.
- He demonstrated that to Noah, who was spared with his family when the rest of the world’s population was destroyed!
- He showcased that power to Moses with a burning bush that didn’t burn up.
- He proved it in the fiery furnace with three Hebrew leaders who refused to bow down to idols. They were kept from even the SMELL of smoke while the soldiers who threw them in were proven to be completely combustible.
- He underlined it in the lions’ den when Daniel was untouched, but his enemies were devoured.
God has precision-guided protection!
He put that on display in Egypt where the plagues struck all of the Egyptians but bypassed the homes and fields and families of God’s chosen people.
This is a God-only level of power and precision! And it is on display throughout the Scriptures!
Here’s how God Himself described His ability in Malachi 3:
16Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name.
17“On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be My treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
God is able to use limitless power whenever He chooses, and to use it with complete control, so that His OWN servants are guarded and His enemies are not.
That is why, for the Christian, total surrender to God is our SUPER-POWER!
The place was shaken so that they were not.
The place was shaken so that they would be unshakeable.
And God answered their prayer for boldness! The words they spoke from that point on shook the world, but they themselves were not shaken by the world at all.
They became Walking Catalysts!
A catalyst is a thing that changes any environment it is placed in without being changed by that environment. Since it doesn’t get changed or weakened or used up by the process, a catalyst can be used endlessly to create the same reaction.
The Christian who is walking in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit is endued with that same quality. When they walk into a situation, the situation changes, but they do not. They remain Jesus-focused, Spirit-empowered and Father-honoring.
Jesus could embrace lepers or face off against God’s antagonists, either demonic or just evil humans, and He was never changed.
He is the catalyst that changes everything, wherever He appears, and is never weakened by it. And He appears in the person of a blood-bought Christian like you.
There is tremendous power resident in the man or woman who has sold out his or her life to Jesus Christ and is living only for His glory. In Revelation 12, we see heaven open and a triumphant voice proclaims,
Now salvation and power are set in place, and the kingdom reign of our God and the ruling authority of His Anointed One are established. For the accuser of our brothers, who relentlessly accused them day and night before God, has now been defeated — cast out once and for all! They conquered him completely through the blood of the Lamb and the powerful word of their testimony.”
What an amazing tribute to these catalytic Christians who were relentless in their use of the Lamb’s blood and their own testimonies to conquer Satan completely!
As you read these words, you may be facing your own season of accusations and opposition. You may, in fact, feel as if your position is a precarious one or that the onslaught of the enemy has you up against the ropes.
If that is you, my friend, I would like to remind you that the enemy of our souls is shooting blanks. He may wave his gun at you and threaten to put an end to you in one way or another; but the Lord of Hosts is your defender, and the power of God is at your disposal. You do not need to fear that you will buckle under your trial. You have the Holy Spirit within you, rising to any challenge. And you are endued with the indomitable spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who could not be tempted, bribed or threatened into setting aside the Father’s will for His life.
He who began this good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day that belongs to Jesus Christ … the day when the Father turns on the throne and says to His Son, “It’s time. Go and get my children and bring them to me.”
It is obvious that THAT day is closer to us now than it has ever been. But I also believe that it is coming SOONER than we could imagine. Stand firm in your trust. God keeps His Word. His power is unchallenged. His protection is precision-guided. And He has you at the center of His unwavering attention.
Go forth in the power that is yours as a child of God and accomplish greater exploits for the glory of His name than you have until now. As the angel declared to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!”