Last week I finished reading the book of Acts again. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read it, but there always seems to be something new which God shows me as I read. It is perhaps my favourite book of the Bible.
This time, what struck me was how many times God’s purposes, the Kingdom of God, moved forwards through what was completely unexpected to His people, the Christians.
Think about the day of Pentecost to start with. The disciples knew that they should expect something to happen: Jesus had told them to wait for power from on high. But I don’t think that they expected what God did on that day, I don’t think they had any idea that it would be so violent or dramatic!
What about the great persecution which broke out after the death of Stephen? Whilst some might have guessed that they would not have things easy for very long, I doubt that the Christians realised just how God would use this time.
There are many more examples: if you haven’t raad Acts recently, why not dive right in? There is so much to learn.
Our tendency as Christians is to plough on with our strategy, our ideas, our plans, our activities. We assume that it is through all these things that we have worked out and will put into action that God will work and His Kingdom will advance.
Maybe, sometimes, that will happen. Most of the time, though, I think the Bible tells us that it is God who advances His Kingdom through the ways and means that He chooses, which on the whole are unexpected to us.