The Man God Uses—part 2
Originally published in Issue 40 of Calvary Chapel Magazine
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.” Acts 3:6
The key to an effective prayer life is faith in God, who is the Giver of all things. When Peter approached the lame man, he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately the man’s feet and ankle bones received strength.
Put yourself in Peter’s position. This man had been lame from birth, and because he sat at the gate of the temple begging for alms every day, he was undoubtedly well known to everyone in the city. Imagine the public scorn Peter would have incurred if he had lifted the man to his feet, only to have the man slump back down onto the ground. Peter would have been a laughing stock all over the city! To obey God in that situation and to lift the man to his feet must have required an immense amount of faith.
What did Peter say to the man? “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). Later, as Peter was explaining the miracle to the astonished crowd at the temple, he said, “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know” (3:16a).
Jesus told us directly in John 14:13: “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Keys to Faith
There is amazing power through faith in the name of Jesus Christ! Where did Peter get the faith to heal the lame man? Notice what Peter said in Acts 3:16b: “Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”
In other words, Peter is declaring that the Lord not only healed the lame man, but He also gave Peter the faith to believe that He would do it. Peter did not claim to have developed the faith through his own spiritual development, or from anything he had done to deserve it; Peter simply told the people that the faith required to do God’s work came from God.
In 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul specifically mentions the gift of faith. The Bible shows us that in certain instances, God gives people the faith to believe that He is about to do something special in their lives. So, many people attempt to work up their faith for a certain occasion. I believe that this is an exercise in futility.
The key here is that in order to have the faith that assures us God is going to perform a miracle, we must be living in God’s will. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:11: But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
The work of the Spirit is done, not according to my will, but according to His will. So the man God uses is a man of prayer, who walks according to God’s will, and who has the faith of God to do the work of God.
Give God the Glory
It must have been a sight to see! The lame man who had been sitting at the gate of the temple begging for alms day after day, literally for decades, was now walking around, leaping into the air, and enthusiastically praising God (Acts 3:8)!
Every person in the city had walked by this man repeatedly throughout the years, maybe occasionally dropping a coin into his hand. His frail frame was undoubtedly a familiar sight to everyone.
All of a sudden, this man is dancing around, yelling at the top of his lungs, hugging Peter and John, and generally creating a major disturbance in the daily routine of the temple. The news must have spread like wildfire throughout the crowd! Luke factually states in Acts 3:10b, … they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
The story continues in Acts 3:12: So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?”
In other words, Peter was saying to them, “You men are Israelites! Don’t you know the power of your own God? People from foreign countries who aren’t acquainted with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob could conceivably be amazed by this event, but why should you be surprised?”
This is exactly the way we so often behave in the face of miracles. By our own confession, we believe that God created the heavens and the earth, but when we hear of a quadriplegic walking out of a hospital, it challenges our own credulity.
Is it any more difficult for God to heal a cripple than it was for Him to create Adam out of the dust of the earth? Do we really believe what we claim to believe?
All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.
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