Acts Meditation 4:31 – Shake the Earth

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. – Acts 4:31

What should we do after being threatened to silence? 

Run to friends. When Peter and John were released from arrest, they went to their friends. What comfort it is to have friends whom we can run to in ordeal. Even greater comfort it is when these friends are of the same mind and in the same Spirit! These friends did not counsel the apostles to lay low. Instead, they knew the priority of their calling, and so prayed in unison with the apostles for all of them to have boldness to continue speaking in the name of Jesus. 

Remember God is sovereign. They began their prayer remembering that God is sovereign over heaven and earth, over history, over every person. They remembered that everything they were experiencing had long ago been planned for by God. When we are in difficulty, we tend to think of God as the final resort for help. But it is He who purposed for us to be in that situation in the first place! He would know best why we are in the situation, and what we are to do. Even in our fall, He purposed good. Felix culpa. 

Ask for boldness to do what we are tasked. The believers knew what they have been tasked to do–speak God’s word with boldness. No threat could hinder them from completing their task. It is their own fear which could. So they asked God to supply them with boldness to overcome such fear. Boldness is not the eradication of fear, but the overcoming of it. Many things in life and faith comes down to this: choose faith or fear? They asked God for faith which overcomes fear. 

Trust God to do His part. In the disciples’ prayer, they acknowledged that while they were to speak God’s word with boldness, it is God who would stretch out His hand to heal and give signs and wonders. They trusted God to do His part in fulfilling His mission. This means that when God chooses not to heal or give signs and wonders, the disciples would still speak God’s word with boldness.

The remarkable outcome of the believers’ prayer is that they were so filled with the Spirit and the boldness to speak God’s word that the home they were praying in shook to its core! Prayer can move the earth! 

When God moves the foundations of the earth in response to our petition to Him, the fear we have been leaning on caves in, and we cannot help but speak God’s word boldly. It does not matter whether we are speaking God’s word on the streets to non-believers or in our own homes to our families, God’s word will shake the foundations of our souls to the core. And that is how the Church will turn the world downside up, right way up. 

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