When you think of a miracle, what do you think of? GREAT and MIGHTY things happening? Supernatural things we can’t wrap our heads around? The dead coming to life? I would say, you’re right!
I’ve witnessed miracles in my life. Big miracles, and little unassuming miracles. I think the biggest and greatest miracles are the ones we marvel at but, most times, the little miracles are shoved to the side as maybe “not as worthy” for the miracle title.
Let’s talk about an “unassuming” miracle.
We’re entering the scene in Acts 4 after Peter and John’s arrest over healing a lame man which resulted in a great many new following of about 5,000 believers (4:4). The leaders were amazed at Peter and John’s boldness as well as educated speech even though they were uneducated men (4:13). There were no reasons for the Sanhedrin to hold them captive because they gave all glory to God and took no glory unto themselves.
“...they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.” v21
Healing the lame man - yes, that was a miracle.
But let’s focus on a miracle that happened afterward that may get overlooked.
When Peter and John were released, they told others what had happened. They all immediately went into prayer and “raised their voices to God with one accord.” (4:24)
They acknowledge God’s Kingship and the prophecies fulfilled of Jesus. (4:24-28)
But what they pray next is such a beautiful thing.
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” v29-30
These people faced opposition. They faced threats. Maybe they were weary and tired, or maybe they had a lack of faith. But that did not stop them from worship. It did not stop them from communing with their King. Instead they ask for BOLDNESS. They ask that God would use them to be His hands and feet through signs and wonders.
“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” v31
You might see this as just a little miracle. “Where’s the fanfare? Where’s the physical healing?”
The true miracle was a transformation. I would even say it was a three-part miracle.
There was a SHAKING of the room.
They were ALL FILLED with the Spirit.
And they spoke the word of God with BOLDNESS.
And continuing in Acts 4 in verses 32-34, it sparks a new way of living saying “they had all things in common…and great grace was upon them all.”
This miracle started through prayer together - as one.
When we pray together (Matthew 18:20) God says He is there in our midst. And where God is, BIG things happen. It’s not because of us and that He’s at our beck and call, but because He sees our fervent prayers and is moved to compassion. As God’s people, we are to come together in prayer and watch HIM move.
God puts so much emphasis on how much we need to be a part of the body of Christ. And He stresses the need for unity.
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will heal their land.”
Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
Philippians 2:2 “Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.”
Romans 15:6 “So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us.”
MIRACLE #1: THE SHAKING
WHEN they prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken.
I have this vision of them in that building all crying out to the Lord with a hunger to do more FOR Him; with tears running down their faces, crying out for boldness to speak His Word.
And through the physical shaking of the building, there was a spiritual move of God.
That through the shaking, it’s almost as if there was a sifting in their hearts. That the things taking up room in their hearts that prevented them, distracted them, stumbled them, and blinded them from speaking in boldness and performing miracles was being removed one by one.
Ezekiel 11:14-21 “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”
Hebrews 12:1 “...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
MIRACLE #2: THE FILLING
When these people cried out for GOD’S hand to heal, when they prayed for signs and wonders to be done through the name of JESUS, God saw their humble posture. As their eyes were on JESUS and not on themselves - not to bring glory to their own ministry or fame, not to put attention on their own greatness - God saw their hearts to honor Him and He honored them in return.
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”
They asked for MORE and the Lord gave more of Himself to them.
We are leaky vessels. Why else would God be filling the cup to overflowing in Psalm 23?
There was a beautiful and poignant quote from a bible study I did recently in Colossians. “We cannot share the Truth if we do not know the Truth personally.” If we are walking around trying to perform miracles in our own strength, we fail. We need the Holy Spirit, we need LOVE PERSONIFIED else we become sounding gongs and clanging cymbals. And we need to keep our focus on Christ. Not on what we gain, not how good we look, not the fame or the glory. IT’S ALL FOR CHRIST and the furthering of His Kingdom. All for HIS GLORY.
MIRACLE #3: THE BOLDNESS
These people hungered to speak God’s Word with boldness. Not with timidity. Not with insecurity. They prayed for boldness, and it then says “they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
We are God’s witnesses. This world skews and tries to taint what is good, and God has given us knowledge and understanding of His Word to speak His truth. We need to be grounded in His Word. We are to meditate on it day and night (Joshua 1:8). We are to hide His Word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11) and we are to share His Word with others. How can anyone hear the Word of God unless we speak it?
Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
2 Timothy 1:7-8 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.”
This 3-part miracle - maybe simple or unassuming - had GREAT impact in furthering the work of Christ in Acts. Sometimes, God works His miracles in the simple every day moments. And when we join with fellow believers, when we pray in unity, when we cry out to the Lord in hunger and faith, He will cause a shaking in our hearts. He will fill us afresh, and He will equip us to speak boldly in His name.
~ Kissy Black