“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).
Some people have used this verse as a mini-definition of the church’s role in God’s program. It certainly contains some activities we should be engaged in. But notice how they engaged in these activities. They devoted themselves to them. They didn’t just keep an even pace, but they jumped in with both feet; they jumped in with abandon. They left nothing behind. No wonder they soon drew the attention of the religious authorities. Those same authorities represented the status quo, or the old guard. But when Christ sets hearts free, He leads them to do many deeds, sometimes at a swift pace. These early believers were devoted followers of Christ.
They braved the opposition of the religious leaders, and risked everything in order to live out their faith. They refused to allow the opposition to intimidate them, but proceeded forward at an accelerated pace. They faced opposition at times even from family members. For a while, even Jesus’ family did not understand or believe Him (see John 7:5). But these early believers were stirred by a supernatural devotion that gained the attention of an onlooking world. This heart on fire for Christ was not lit by human hands. It had to come from heaven, otherwise the light would have soon gone out.
How to transform desire to devotion:
1. Pray to God that He would strengthen your faith.
We cannot set a supernatural pace with mere human effort. God must put wind in our sails and fan the flame of a devoted heart. Just getting along by occasional grunts will not last. We’ve all witnessed people flame out because they lacked the power of God to continue. Perhaps they supposed the Christian life to be a mere human undertaking. But what was created by God must be sustained by Him. Ask Him to increase your faith and strengthen your heart.
2. Do not allow setbacks to impede your stride.
We all face setbacks. God designs these for good and noble reasons, often to deepen our walk with Him. But Satan also has an aim in these things. He would like us to slow down a bit, and not run so fast. He would like us to slow down the pace to a quiet stroll, if not stop altogether. We must double our resolve to keep a faithful pace, no matter the price.
3. Look to the reward.
Great athletes do not simply need a great training regimen, they need great inspiration. We draw our inspiration from our Savior, and those who ran before us, that cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). May our heavenly Father breathe into our hearts supernatural inspiration so that we may run and not faint, and go forward as a devoted follower of Christ.
Posted on Tue, August 9, 2016
by Sam Petitfils