And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31 NKJV
We are studying the miracle healing of a crippled man in Acts Three and Four that rocked the city of Jerusalem, right after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts Two.
I told you last week that the man was a wealthy man, a well-known man in Jerusalem. If you want to win multitudes, and change culture, a great key is to win those who have influence over others. For instance, look at what happened when the great persecutor Paul was won! Remember when Nebuchadnezzar was won to the Lord by Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? What about Naaman the Syrian, won by the little maid? Esther won the heart of the king and saved her people. So many others we could name, even from history…can you say, Constantine?
Now, admittedly, some body may have ‘dropped the ball’ on discipling some of these guys. But there is no question about the impact that their turning to the Lord had on society, and on history.
How do I know he was wealthy? The Word says he was carried daily to the Beautiful Gate. He wasn’t carried by strangers, or the government. He was carried by his own servants, probably on their shoulders in a carriage. He was laid there to humble himself, positioning himself so that when a man of God passed by, he could receive prayer. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you…
Second thing to consider is the law of influence. This mans healing drew the attention of thousands because of his ties to so many in the community. I’ve seen tremendous healings of people no one knew which drew little to no attention. Then I’ve also seen the miracle for a prominent man, a prominent minister that rocked a nation. What’s the difference between the two? The law of influence.
Are we witnessing to the influencers, seeking to win them to the Lord? If you can pray, prophesy and get revelation, you can rock their world, and through them rock the city, or nation.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into this miracle, and how it was performed…
My friend Dale Sides did the body of Christ a great favor back in the Nineties when he taught what he called the formula for spiritual power – love (revelation gifts + gift of faith) = spiritual power. I added in my teaching ‘grace’ to ‘love’ in the multiplying factor – grace + love (revelation gifts + gift of faith) = spiritual power – because our religious flesh always judges ourselves or others to be unworthy of the blessings of God. So, we must be strong in grace and love to be ministers of God…
Peter said, What I do have, I give you. Here is the key: He knew in his spirit by revelation that he had a gift of healing for this man this day. He had been praying to receive gifts of healings so that he could give them out. We know that from the prayer they prayed in Acts Four, asking for more healings to confirm their preaching. Then he commands the healing to come. The gift of faith is always ministered by a command or decree.
I’ll tell you some thing else…Peter and John probably knew this guy by name. He had been laid there daily for years. They had gone in the beautiful gate many times, in and out. When you walk somewhere, you don’t ignore everyone, or isolate yourself with a cellphone, not if you love your neighbor.
You know Who else probably knew him? Jesus. Why didn’t Jesus heal him? Because there is a timing in delivering a gift of healing. This prominent man needed to see Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the events of Acts Two before his heart was prepared to receive his healing.
There’s a record in Acts Fourteen where Paul knew by revelation that a man had faith for healing, and he called out his healing, and he was healed. God’s will is to heal everyone, save everyone, change everyone instantly, but He has to wait for man to open the door so to speak, and some never do. Lake said, the secret of a religious meeting is that it assists men’s hearts to open. Did you catch that?
You ask for miracles. You ask for gifts of healings that you can give out. He downloads the gift into your spirit with the faith and wisdom to deliver it. Then you go out, like with packages from UPS, and be a delivery man or woman. The key to miracles is in preparation.
Now what do you do when you’ve had a miracle like this? You preach the Word!
Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed. So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus…” Acts 3:11-13 NKJV
This sounds axiomatic, but we have seen in practice that it is not. Miracles are God’s advertising! When you have people’s attention, bring them to the Lord right there. Here’s how to prophesy – quietly ask God to give you a word, then open your mouth and start speaking in love. When they say, I don’t want to hear it! You say, “What happened? Why do you hate God?” Then you listen as they open up their heart. You always go for the heart in love. As you listen, you’ll know what to do next.
“By what power or by what name have you done this?” Acts 4:7 NKJV
Peter and John were praying to meet the influencers, so they got themselves arrested. You don’t have to be arrested. Jesus was never arrested until He allowed Himself to be as He as the High Priest was offering Himself as the Passover lamb. P&J got themselves arrested so that the influencers could set themselves up with this perfect question. Paul did the same thing in Acts Sixteen. He could have played the ‘Roman citizen’ card and avoided jail time, but he wanted to find the ‘man of Macedonia,’ who in Phillipi turned out to be the jailor. I tell you, God reigns…and you will reign too as you walk by the Spirit!
Don’t you love Acts? I love Acts!
And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. Acts 4:23 NKJV
Finally, they got home. Then what do they do? They pray for more boldness, the very thing that got them in trouble so to speak in the first place. Don’t you just love these guys? I’ve had the privilege over the years to be at times in fellowship like this, where the fellowship is so sweet and the hearts are so tender. Then the glory comes…and we are swept off of our feet and into the arms of the Master!
We are the people of Acts, dear one. Acts 2,3,4 and beyond are our legacy, and our destiny. Acts is ours to appropriate and to finish the writing thereof. My prayer for you is that your chapter that you write of Acts Today will be studied and examined by others in the future as we have studied the anatomy of a miracle here. Proud to stand with you…love you!
Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business…