The discipleship of Simon Peter included numerous instances of seeing Jesus address the deepest human needs that He encountered in the power and authority given Him by his Father. When the time came for him to step out on his own he had to do so in faith, trusting that the power promised to him by Jesus would be there. Standing firm on that promise and having seen the power work in the past, when Peter sees the crippled beggar at the Temple gate (Acts 3) he seizes the opportunity literally reach out in trust. “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Peter acts for two reasons. One, he has seen the power of the kingdom in action by spending time with Jesus. He knows what is possible and has even greater faith in that power since the Resurrection, Ascension and the cacophonous coming of the Holy Spirit. The second reason builds on that experience; Peter is much more spiritually aware than he had ever been and was learning to recognize those instances in which the Spirit was already in the vicinity and at work. The lame man’s deepest need was not a few pennies, it was the redemption of his soul and this is what Peter reaches for.
Your confidence in the Spiritual power implanted within you is built the same way, by observing and remembering the way that the promises have been fulfilled around you. The first and easiest incident that you can catalog is your own salvation. Take out your journal and make note of where you were prior to that move of Kingdom power and follow that by a description of where you are today. No matter the distance from point A and point B, rejoice and trust that the same power that moved you will move others.
Next, look in the lives of your redeemed friends and family. Haven’t they experienced a similar move in soul growth? Perhaps you never took the time to notice? How about prayer? Could it bee that God has answered your prayers (already) and you have not developed enough spiritual awareness to see the sometimes subtle way in which answers are given. Look through your petitions and consider the number of broad or specific ways that God could answer. It may have been in front of you the whole time.
The fourth place to look for God’s work is in your Church. Be careful in instantly equating growth in head count as evidence of God at work. Regardless of the size of the church, the place to look for God at work is in fulfilling the mission He has given His people. Many churches (to borrow a cultural phrase) punch beyond their weight class.
Finally, look back over the past week or month and let the Spirit Himself bring to mind the moments that you missed. Your own “lame man” moment that intersected with your path. The moment when you too could have reached out at said “walk!”
image by Natesh Ramasamy