On Monday night I have a discussion with some people from the Cru grad student ministry at Penn State about Peter and John and their experience before the Sanhedrin in Acts 4. The men of the Sanhedrin noticed that Peter and John were ‘unschooled, ordinary men’, implying that they were unqualified to speak about God and be used by Him. Then they realized that these men had been with Jesus. This made them qualified, this meant that their lack of schooling and ordinary lives weren’t holding them back or keeping God from using them. Our group leader asks us to name the characteristics that we ascribe to ourselves that keep us from feeling like we can be of use. What are our ‘unschooled’ or ‘ordinary’ characteristics? What holds us back?
Then he reminds us that God called Peter and John in the
midst of their ordinary lives. They trusted Him to work through them,
regardless of the fact that they were uneducated and ordinary. I realize that it
all comes down to trust. Trusting the Holy Spirit to move, trusting that it’s
ok to get out of the way, give up control, and let God work. Where the Spirit of the Lord is
there is freedom – freedom from those things that make me ordinary and
unqualified. Freedom from fear that God won’t want to use me, that I will fail,
that those I reach out to will reject me. When God moves, when the Spirit
moves, I am free from all those things – free to do exactly what He has called me
to do and be exactly who He has called me to be.
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.