so the church throughout all judea and galilee and samaria had peace and was being built up. and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. [acts 9:31]
the church is exploding– ‘it multiplied’ and was being ‘built up’–despite the opposition from the authorities. in this day, few of us have received death threats due to our proclaiming the gospel, but there is much opposition to the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. around the world, we do have brothers and sisters in Christ that are being harshly persecuted and dying, and in this country, once unassailable freedoms are being eroded.
what are we to do?
what these early Christians did.
walk in the fear of the Lord:
in the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and his children will have a refuge.
the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death. [proverbs 14:26-27]
these early followers of the way could have given in easily and rejected the truth of Jesus, but it was in Jesus that they put their confidence, they sought refuge in Jesus when they were being evicted from their homes and put in jail and beaten mercilessly and killed for their faith. in our day we must continue to speak truth to those who reject Christ–let us not fear men, let us put our confidence in Jesus, the fountain of life!
walk in the comfort of the Holy Spirit:
therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
for the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.
for a people shall dwell in zion, in jerusalem; you shall weep no more. he will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. as soon as he hears it, he answers you. and though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. and your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “this is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. [isaiah 30:18-21]
the english term comfort has come to be understood as cozy and soft a place of respite, but it derives its roots from a latin term meaning “with strength”–the Holy Spirit isn’t our easy chair to rest in, but the way that we are able to walk in power–the Church experiences revival, multiplication and building up when believers walk each day in the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ living in us!
today as you experience the nearness of God, pray boldly for more fear of him, and less fear of man–pray for Holy Spirit power to help you battle the enemy as you walk in this world, pray for unbelievers come to Jesus Christ and that the Church would be multiplied and God would be glorified!