Monday, August 30, 2010

Obedience in Christian Recovery

In the first few verses in the book of Acts, we read that just prior to his ascension, Jesus commanded his followers to wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. With such an awesome promise, it’s surprising that a mere 25% of them actually obeyed. And yet, verse 8 gives us a clue as to why at least some of the 380 out of 500 followers left before the miraculous event took place.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

The command to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit wasn’t what the followers had a problem with. It was the command to go do something with that power. In other words, selfishness and self-serving attitudes were evident even in the days of Jesus.

It’s true that some followers may have been impatient and that a few may have had emergencies or outside circumstances that prevented them from participating in the original outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But history tends to repeat itself. We see in churches today that many members of a congregation want the benefits of Christianity but not the responsibilities that go with it. They come in with great enthusiasm and tout the amazing miracles of God, only to walk away when they discover that God wants something in return.

A lot of people miss out on the real blessings of God that are gained through faith, obedience and the process of sanctification. Obedience to Christ will always lead to deeper levels of relationship with God and ultimately, increased power of the Holy Spirit. Peter is a great example of this.

Directly following the impartation of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other languages, Peter found himself passionately preaching to the Jews, as described in Acts 2:14-39. The fruit of his obedience is described in Acts 2:40,41.

“With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”

With Peter as one of many role Biblical role models, it’s clear that obedience to God’s commands results in the manifestation of God’s power and the miraculous.

The Solid Rock Road Christian recovery program in Medford, Oregon, is a 10-week program that teaches people about obedience. Visit or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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