But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and . . . said . . . “If this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found to be fighting against God!” Acts 5:34 & 38–39
We often forget that God is at work in all our lives, and God is at work in all situations. Even in the most intractable of situations and in the most hardened of lives, God’s Spirit is seeking an “in.” God’s ability to influence the course of history is in direct proportion to how open and available we are to the movement of God’s Spirit. We can never know whose heart is being opened by the power and presence of God. God often works behind the scenes, and out of our view, to effect change.
The apostles assumed the council that was deciding their fate was corrupt, immovable, and dead set against them. They believed that the spiteful and hateful religious authorities who had killed Jesus would never change! But God was moving in the heart of a priest named Gamaliel, and through Gamaliel the council’s vengeful motives were thwarted. Who could have imagined that God was working behind the scenes of that gathering of religious leaders, changing hearts and motives in ways that would protect the people the council was set on destroying? God imagined, and the situation changed!
Where might God be working behind the scenes in your life right now?
Lord, on so many occasions I assume that I have come to a dead end. I feel as though I have encountered an obstacle that cannot be overcome. Or I find myself in a difficult situation or relationship that seems to have no resolution. I long to believe that You are working in my life, but I often forget that You are also working beyond my view in the other lives affected in a particular moment. If You are working all the angles of a situation, perhaps I should trust in Your ability to move mountains, and simply expect to be surprised by Your creative imagination. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.