“Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38-39 NIV84)
For the second time the religious leaders have arrested Peter and John because they were proclaiming the Gospel. This time an angel came and secretly released them from the prison without anyone noticing. The next day, the religious leaders went to the jail to confront the disciples, but they were not there. Someone reported to the religious leaders that the disciples were, once again, in the city proclaiming the gospel. Frustrated, they gathered together to figure out what to do with the disciples. Nothing they were doing was getting the disciples to stop. Gamaliel, a well-respected teacher, spoke the verses that we are focusing on today. His message was simple. If this thing the disciples are doing is not of God, then it will soon cease. But if it is from God, they have to be careful in their opposition because they would find themselves fighting against God Himself.
We have to stop for a minute and realize that throughout the Scriptures there are stories of religious people who, thinking they were doing the will of God, were actually fighting against God’s will. I hope this devotion is making you pause, like it is me. It is important that we discerningly evaluate our work for the kingdom of God. We need to make sure that we are following His will and not our own. We need to commit ourselves to God’s Word and to prayer and trust that the Holy Spirit will provide us the wisdom needed to discern that we are in alignment with His will and not fighting against it.