As I continued to read the remaining verses of Acts 4, something jumped off the page and reminded me of Jesus’ words when “He appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of Him” (Luke 10:1). As Jesus sent them out, He gave specific instructions as to how they should “GO.”
“And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road” (Luke 10:2–4). Notice the four imperatives:
3. Be sent by the Lord
4. Take nothing with you
According to most modern missionary organizations, the first three are followed to some degree, but the fourth would be considered an impossibility. Most missionaries are not allowed to head to the harvest field without pre-committed support. We have seen how the apostles in Acts were devoted to prayer; much more than we are today. Their “Going” was consistent, and more so under persecution. The Lord through the Holy Spirit was sending them toward the “end of the earth.”
As they went, “with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold” (Acts 4:33–34). If there was a need, it was met because God’s grace and power was working among them. Money was not required by the apostles since they operated by the Spirit’s control.
Can we reclaim this principle today? We must, if we are going to see God work in power as in Acts.
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