when they heard these things they fell silent. and they glorified God, saying, “then to the gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” [acts 11:18]
the only thing that silences critics and moves them to glorify God – is the Spirit working in union with God’s his word.
we often think we have the ability to argue people into seeing things God’s way.
if we could just say it right – then they would agree and walk with God.
problem is – if you can argue someone into believing. someone else can argue them into doubting and someone else can argue them into disbelieving all together. human wisdom – even using the word of God – cannot cause belief in another. it is the Spirit’s work, through the word of God, that alone brings belief and change in a heart.
in this case – Peter did not try and argue the case from his own wisdom. notice what he says and does …
and the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. [acts 11:12]
as i began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. [acts 11:15]
and i remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘john baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ [acts 11:16]
he spoke of the Spirit’s voice, the Spirit’ s move and the word of God. he was bringing the Spirit and the word to bear on hearts. and in this case, in this moment – “they fell silent. and they glorified God.”
this is not a formula. every time we share the word, depending on the Spirit – people do not get saved or believe or see the truth. belief is a gift from God.
however – only by the Spirit and the word will any believe.
do you have someone you long to see the truth of God’s ways – but they are stuck in critic mode?
do you have someone you love who doubts the love of God?
do you have a conversation on the horizon that feels full of the need to “get it right” for God’s sake?
– ask the LORD to help your friend believe by the power of his Spirit and his word.
– ask the LORD to help you remember and speak the word by the power and love of the Spirit.
– ask the LORD to help you believe – all belief is from the LORD. you are simply a friend, a disciple, and messenger dependent on speaking the word through the power of the Spirit.
~ john ryan