And when they had brought them, they set them before the councils. And the high priest questioned them, saying, We strictly charged charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this mans blood upon us. Peter and the apostles answered We must obey God rather than man. – Acts 5:27-29
As I sit here in the airport terminal in Dubai and read these words, I marvel at the boldness and complete obedience of Peter as he stands firmly on the rock of Jesus Christ.
In the verses preceding this, the apostles had been busy preforming many signs and wonders. The high priest had them arrested and thrown in jail, but God sent angel to free them. They then went to the temple and started to preach again so they were brought before the high priest again who charged them to be silent.
Peter and the apostles knew that even though the council of the Pharisees had thrown them in jail and charged them to be silent and not preach Christ. But they also knew that Christ was living in them and that Christ was greater than the world that was reviling them.
So far our trip has been peaceful, even enjoyable. I have spent the last 13 hours talking with my brothers and sister about Jesus on a plane, reading the word with my Bible on my lap and editing my message. No one has charged us not to speak the name of Jesus. But I know from first hand experience the fear of that possibility is enough to make us doubt our ability to be obedient to the great commission. (Matthew 28:18-20)
We must remember what Jesus said in that command, Jesus did not tell us to go and do this relying on your own strength and ability. Jesus knows the heart of man is weak and full of sin. In fact without him we are all dead in our trespasses until God gives a living beating heart that lives for him. It is only then that we are able to strive to be obedient.
Jesus tells us to go because all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him and that he will be with us to the end of the age. Christ is with us today, even when we struggle to obey him.
He has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, to teach us, to guide us, to intercede on our behalf through prayer and supplication to the Father.
When we are disobedient to the commands of Jesus we are diminishing the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus when he died on the cross. We are telling the world that our God is not enough, that he is insufficient in his power and that I would have to do too much work on my own.
This is not the Savior and Lord that I know and love! The same Savior that called us out of the world to a life of eternal joy with God the father! The same Savior that sent the mission team that I now find myself part of. This Savior is and always will be enough for us to do the work he has called us to do.
As the the old hymn says Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.
This is what Jesus wanted for us when he call us out of our sin to be born again through him. He wants us to trust and obey for true joy and happiness are found only in him when we do TRUST and OBEY!