Dealing with intimidation
When we’re following God, we can sometimes face opposition and intimidation. People might come against us because they don’t understand our beliefs. The enemy will try and stop us from moving forwards in our faith. If we’re feeling intimidated right now, we can learn from the disciples. When they felt threatened by the religious authorities of their day, they did three things: 1) They brought God into the picture. ‘Now, Lord, consider their threats’ (v.29 NIV). We need to talk to God about our situation. God should be the first person we discuss it with, not the last. Prayer is the door through which He enters our situation, so let’s make sure we invite Him in. 2) They prayed for greater faith. ‘Enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness’ (v.29 NIV). It’s unrealistic to think all our questions will be answered and all our fears will disappear. Faith and fear will always be at work in our lives. To be an overcomer, we must learn to starve our fear and feed our faith on God’s Word (have a read of Romans 10:17). 3) They expected God to intervene. They prayed: ‘Stretch out your hand’ (Acts 4:30 NIV). They knew God would hear them and expected Him to answer. Jesus is available any time we call. He always hears us, and will answer – although not always in the way we expect Him to. After those three things, the Bible tells us that they were filled with the Holy Spirit. ‘After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly’ (Acts 4:31 NIV). They were strengthened and energised by God’s power – and we can be too.
If you’re feeling intimidated today, try the three things the disciples did – bring God in, pray for greater faith, and expect Him to intervene.
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