We must not think that all goes well when God is given free control of our lives through the Holy Spirit. There may be open opposition from the public or even from religious leaders, as we have seen. There is a more subtle danger. When someone is seeing God work as Simon did (“who had previously practiced magic” – Acts 8:9), he wanted to buy the power he saw in the apostles without the relationship they had in Christ.
I fear that this same attempt is being made today, whether it be through teaching or healing, forms of prayer or styles of preaching. If any of these are sought for the mere human result they bring, we will miss God’s method and we will experience fruitless, human bondage. Ultimately, God is robbed of His glory.
The hallmark of God’s work is that it produces obedience to the Word, not attachment to men, women or ministries. If we are not careful to make this critical distinction in ourselves and our ministries, we will miss God’s purpose, power and fruitfulness. The result of Philip’s preaching was that those who heard, believed and were baptized. That was proof of God’s power and fruitfulness.
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