I wake up pretty early most days, before the sun has risen. When I begin to make my way down the stairs, our cat Leo is usually there to greet me. He meanders slightly ahead of me resting on every other step, dangerously hindering my path, until I prod him along.
I was thinking about this when I was reading the book of Acts:
“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.” —Acts 11:15-18 ESV
Here Peter is reporting to the church about how he led some Gentiles to a belief in Christ. Initially, he had not wanted to share the gospel with Gentiles (as many of the Jewish believers hadn’t), but God prodded him along. Who was Peter that he’d stand in God’s way? Peter came to realize his own tendency to block the move of God.
Interestingly, Peter attempted once before to stand in Jesus’ way, and Jesus accused him of partnering with Satan. Jesus had been telling his followers how he would be crucified, but Peter said, “No, that’s not how this is gonna work,” to which Jesus responded, “Get behind me, Satan.”
In what ways do I unknowingly try to dam up the flow of God’s Spirit? Do I exasperate my children? Do I grab the spotlight for myself? Do I make plans to achieve our goals without first considering how God will direct us?
Instead of pacing ahead like my cat does, I should look for God and follow directly behind him.
How about you? Consider today how you might be standing in God’s way.