We sometimes want to do our own thing even if we know it goes against God’s Will for our life. But we need to remember that God’s Will should be sovereign in our lives. In today’s verse, even the Biblical scholars had to be reminded of that. In Acts 5:39, Gamaliel is reminding the High Priest, chief priests, Sadducees, and the High Council, “but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.” (NASB) They had thrown the Apostles into prison for preaching in the temple. An angel rescued the Apostles from prison and instructed them to go back to the temple and preach the Gospel. The High Priest and council wanted to kill the Apostles, but Gamaliel counseled them to do nothing because others had come before the Apostles, preaching other doctrines, and had faded away. He said that if the Apostles were of God they would be fighting against God.
The Apostles were following the instructions of God, to preach the Gospel to every person as Jesus directed them before He left to return to His Father. (Matthew 28:19) It was God’s Sovereign Will that they spread the Good News of Jesus to all they encountered. When we follow His Will for our lives we are being obedient to Him. However, when we do what our flesh desires, we are fighting against God and His Will for us.
Ananias and Saphira found out the hard way. They agreed to sell some property and give the proceeds to the church. So far, so good. However, Ananias decided to keep some of the money for himself and give the church the rest. His wife, Saphira, knew about the fact that Ananias had held back some of the money. This was not a problem until he brought the money before the elders. Then he lied to the elders, the church, and God about how much he received for the property. Instead of telling them it sold for the higher price and he kept some back for himself, he told them that it sold for the lesser amount. Peter calls him on it, and immediately, God strikes Ananias down and he dies. Later Saphira comes in, Peter asks her how much they sold the property for and she gives the same story Ananias gave and she dropped dead instantly. (Acts 5:1-11) It wasn’t a big deal that they decided to hold back part of the money, it was that they lied to God. In their sin, they were fighting against God by being dishonest. God didn’t care how much they gave, what He wanted was their honesty before Him. They offered a lie to God as worship. This was Satan’s will, not God’s Will. God’s church is not built on a lie.
God’s Sovereign Will not only includes guidance and direction in following the pathway He has laid out for us, but it also includes His desire for us to live holy, righteous lives before Him. I looked at Gamaliel’s warning to the Council and wondered if I have ever come close to fighting against God’s Will for me. Then I remembered a time where I was rebellious, and let me tell you, the discipline I received wasn’t pleasant. When I went against God’s Sovereign Will for me, I was fighting against God. When it finally dawned on me, I asked for His forgiveness, and our relationship was restored.
God’s Sovereign Will must go forth and He desires that we follow His Will. It is His perfect Will. Just as Jesus followed His Father’s Will and went to the cross to die for our sins, and He received honor and glory from God for His obedience; so we must follow God’s Sovereign Will and do what is pleasing in God’s sight. We must follow His Sovereign Will in our actions, in our speech, by listening to God’s guidance, and by being an example before others by showing them what a Believer in Jesus Christ is like. That is our witness.
We need to look at ourselves and take account. Are we following the Sovereign Will of God for us, or are we fighting against God?