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Nothing Stops a Genuine work of God

If it’s really a work of God, there is no stopping it. Nothing will stop a genuine work of God. People dropping out, persecution, public humiliation, and even the gates of hell don’t stand a chance.

A Pharisee named Gamaliel knew this. He saw what these ‘spiritual revivals’ that were powered by man did. There were several of them. All of them had the same result. When the leader dies, the revival fizzles out and loses steam.

So the man gives great advice:

“So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” (Acts 5:38-39)

The guys kind of take his advice. They decide to beat the apostles within an inch of their lives instead of killing them. After all, if this isn’t from God, you can be sure it will fizzle out anyway.

Now, we know the end of this story. We know that this revival never lost momentum and ended up being the largest religion in the world. That’s because, just as Gamaliel said, if it’s a work of God, there’s no stopping it. Even the beatings were no deterrent. Because this was a work of God, these crazy men were rejoicing that they were worthy to suffer.

It’s easy to forget this truth as we labor in God’s field. It’s easy to feel insecure when someone doesn’t like something about the worship service or to feel ineffective when there is disappointment. But, if what we’re doing is really a work of God, there’s no stopping it.

Nothing can stop genuine works of the Spirit. Not persecutions and beatings from the power structures or even death of key leaders. Not people not showing up. Not a bad music set. Not a terrible sermon. Not a word of criticism from a visitor. If it is a genuine work of the Spirit, nothing, and I mean nothing can stop it.

As ministers, then, our task is to prayerfully discern what God is doing, and then to labor with him. And we have to stop with the insecurity, the accommodation and the weird codependency and labor with the confidence that comes from knowing that if it’s a genuine work of the Spirit, nothing can stop it. Nothing.


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