Of Men or God
And now, I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or this work is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even be found fighting against God.
Members of the Sanhedrin were outraged and jealous of the fact that people were responding to the Apostles’ teaching, and many were being healed and delivered from demons. The Apostles displayed a power that the religious leaders did not have. They wanted to kill them, but a wise Pharisee named Gamaliel stopped them with these words. They had encountered false teachers before, and their teaching came to nothing. If these were, in fact, false teachers, the same would happen to them. If they were from God, however, the Sanhedrin could do nothing to overthrow them and would be fighting against God.
The Sanhedrin took the same approach many Christians do today. They automatically assumed that if they did not like it, God didn’t like it, either. They had come to worship a god made in their own image, rather than fully submitting to God, in whose image they were made. A god made in our own image will never have the power to make a difference in this world, and the power of the Holy Spirit will outshine it every time.
We don’t have to take up arms against someone we fear to be a false teacher because there will be no lasting power in the teaching. If we have family members or friends we suspect are involved in a cult, we should pray. Most cult leaders seek to dominate, control, and isolate, and communicating with loved ones involved can be difficult. Communication with God, however, is always open, and we should take full advantage of it.
When God begins to move, He may choose to move in non-traditional ways. He doesn’t always do exactly what we expect Him to do. One thing is for sure, however; He will not move contradictory to Scripture or in a manner that opposes Christ. If Christ is truly at the center of it, God will multiply it. If man’s selfish ambitions are at the root, it will surely die because God will not share His glory with another.
We don’t need to hop on board with every trend of church growth we see. If there is no substance to it, you will soon see it fade and fizzle. When God is truly moving, you will see lives transformed among a refreshed and motivated people. Everyone will experience the freedom, hope, and joy of God’s hand. If the leaders are the only ones excited and the members are being pushed to perform, chances are there is no real power moving. Committing the matter to prayer is always the right stand because God will make known what is and is not His work.
Have a blessed day!