“And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.” Acts 12:7-8
During a time of intense persecution and calamities, the church found strength in God through prayer. God certainly answered the prayer. Yet notice that while God did the impossible by breaking the chains and opening the prison doors, he still commanded Peter to do what he could by clothing himself and following the angel. We can expect God to do the impossible, yet we should likewise expect to do what we can.
For a few examples:
• Only God can do the impossible task of raising those dead in sins. We can’t quicken dead souls, but we can teach the living. Are we teaching?
• Only God can bless a church with growth. Yet we should be prepared to preach the gospel and invite those he sends into our lives. Are we preaching and telling others to come and see?
• Only God can raise up ministers, but he doesn’t study and go for them. A minister of the gospel can only be called by God, but he must prepare himself to be willing to diligently study and go wherever God commands. As ministers, are we both ready to apply ourselves in study, and then willing to go?
• God will give you the grace to forgive others and the strength to move on, but he doesn’t forgive for you. Are we forgiving?
You get the point.
Again, there are many things that only God can do, but he commands us to do what we can. In all occasions we are commanded to, like Peter, prepare ourselves for the occasion and follow him. Let it be said of us as it was of the woman in Mark 14:8, that we have indeed done what we could.
Ephesians 5:15-17 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
Originally published December 2016