The Gifts Part 22
Acts 3:6, “Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’”
I don’t know if it has ever happened to you, but I must confess it has happened to me on multiple occasions, wherein I ask God for something that I believe with all my heart I really need and cannot do without, then He gives me something wholly different, yet incomparably greater than that which I had asked for.
One of my longest ongoing prayers, one that I started praying in my early teens was that God would give me a wife who loved me. All I asked God for was to give me someone that would love me for who I was, yet He gave me a wife that is beautiful, understanding, intelligent, funny, bighearted, and quirky, who also continues to love me after close to twelve years of marriage.
Even after all these years I am well aware that I married above my station, and though I asked God for one attribute, He gave me a myriad of things that I’d never asked for, but can’t envision living without now that I have them.
Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
I believe in a big God, I believe in a God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that I ask or think, because I know the God I serve and I have seen His hand at work in my life, and in the ministry that He has called me to helm too many times to ever doubt His abilities. Doubt keeps God from doing exceedingly and abundantly in our lives, because it stands in stark opposition to faith, and when we lack faith in our lives, when we lack faith in our walk, when we allow doubt to take root in our hearts, the power that ought to work in us is impeded.
In order to see God do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, we must believe that He can. We must know with fierce certainty that His power resides in us, that it works in us, and as a result we will see the wondrous things of God beyond what we have asked or thought.
Although both Peter and John walked together to the temple, it was Peter that began to speak to the lame man, and upon informing him that he had no silver or gold, but he would give him what he did possess, he did not use the plural noun ‘we’, but rather the singular noun ‘I’.
Peter knew what he possessed in Christ, he knew the gift that had been given him, and in that particular circumstance he could only speak for himself. ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you!’
There is much to be said about the words that Peter spoke, and the first thing I want to point out is the fact that he possessed certainty when it came to what he had. There is nothing more fearful, indecisive, hesitant or irresolute than a believer that is uncertain of what he has in Jesus. When we are uncertain, when we merely think or suppose or presume but don’t know the power and authority we have in Jesus, we never step out in faith, we never believe God to do the impossible, because once again the worm of doubt is present and doing its best to keep us from certitude. Peter knew what he had, and he knew what he had to give and there was no shadow of turning in his conviction that truly, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth the lame man laying in the dust would rise up and walk and be made whole.
No Peter and John did not have gold, contrary to the popular belief that all the apostles made out like bandits divvying up what Jesus had hoarded during His three years of ministry, but they knew that they had something far greater than gold or silver; they had the power of God.
Tragically, most believers today would prefer the gold or the silver over the power and presence of God in their lives, they would prefer the material rather than the spiritual, and this is evidenced not by my supposition, but by the very messages and men that they raise up as their shepherds.
Who needs the power of God when you can get rich and have everything you ever wanted?
Well, the church needs the power of God, but we don’t talk about it anymore because the standard that God holds us to in order to imbue us with power from on high is far too stringent, far too constrictive, far too narrow for most of today’s casual believers and we have our own grandiose self-delusions reminiscent of Laodicea to fall back on whenever we start to realize that we’ve been in the same spiritually lifeless place for so long we’ve started to gather dust.
Just consider the following, and answer for yourself, would you rather have stuff, or would you rather have the certainty that you could walk by a lame man and command them to rise up and walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Would you rather live a duplicitous life with one foot in the world and one foot in the house of God, belonging to neither, or would you rather surrender the entirety of your heart to Christ that He may dwell therein, and fill you with His Holy Spirit? We can’t have it both ways, it is an either or proposition, we either belong to God wholly, or we belong to the world. We cannot belong to God partially, we cannot be partially saved; it is all or nothing at all.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.