Sorry for the late post. I left at 7:45 for the Flea Market this morning, then off to DRM for Zume training, and I never got an hour free to reflect on the chapter. I read Acts 7 last night (Saturday) in bed and again this morning before heading out. Acts 7 is a remarkable chapter. Stephen’s standing up to and response to the High Priest and his counsel is amazing. It is full of confidence and power. Thisis because the story he is telling them is God’s story of the redemption of mankind. His confidence is real because he really knows God, knows the Scriptures, knows God’s story, knows his place and participation in God’s story, and his whole reply to them centers and focuses on the story of God in the lives of the Jews. You have to have spent much time in prayer getting to know God and much time reading and taken to heart Scriptures, to reply with the confidence, power, and authority of Stephen. How deeply do you know God in prayer? How thoroughly do you know God’s story in the Bible? Could you reply with the confidence if asked like Stephen?
After I read Acts 7 this morning, though I did not reply until the final minutes of Sunday, I was strongly led into time of personal repentance and reflection throughout the day over my life. Our discussion together at our discipleship training helped deepen that reflection. I reflected over how well I know God and his story. The areas in my life that still are not conformed to God and his story. The thoughts in my headed and desires in my heart that are not of God. I said I was sorry for my failures as a husband and Father. Places where pride still exist. I said I was sorry for my areas of disobedience and unfaithfulness to God. Where my passion and ministry was directed by me and not God. Where I backed away from visions and responsibilities because of the cost. Where I neglected or placed on hold needed time in spiritual disciplines of prayer, searching Scriptures and fasting. Times spent doing for God without first being with God.
I reflected over my life and ministry on v.51 "You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors did!"
I repented from the things "made in my hands”: idols, degrees, resume, house comforts, buildings, career: things I use to box in God. "Yet the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands,"v.46-48.
I repented for any lack of authenticity in my leadership. Any lack of confidence or authority from God. I prayed to be more like Stephen. I would like to be more like Stephen. And I know what it takes to be like Stephen. Stephen’s faith and confidence was forged in many hours outside the celebrity or public eye praying and reading God’s Word.
Read Acts chapter 7 again. Share your reflections and feelings after reading it with us in the comments box below.