Thursday, January 17, 2013
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Psalm 36:5-10, Jeremiah 3:1-5, and Acts 8:18-24
Simon the wizard thought that he could buy the power of God. He thought that he could just perform this little magic trick and then he’d be a celebrity. St. Peter, upon hearing his request, got angry at him and told him that his money could die with him for thinking such thoughts. He told Simon to repent, and that maybe God would have mercy on him.
We can’t put a price on what God does. We can’t buy God’s Spirit and anointing. Thinking that we can is blasphemy. Healing the sick and injured isn’t a magic trick. Instead, it is a sign of God’s power upon us, a sign that we are one of his followers and that we are in tune with what he is wanting us to do. It shows that we’ve spent time on our knees in prayer. It shows that we’ve faithfully followed his commands. It shows that we are doing just what he wants us to do.
Fortunately, most of us are probably not trying to buy God’s power like so many magic tricks. But there are still times when we can get a bit confused about things. Sometimes we see things on television where people are being healed. Sometimes it involves being “slain in the Spirit”, and that can bring a whole new level of skepticism. On the one hand, we know that God does heal us, both through modern medicine and through miraculous means. On the other hand, we’re leery of big shows, because that doesn’t seem to be God’s style. We’re not sure if these folks are genuine or fakes.
Don’t worry too much about that. Focus on following God. There may come a time when God uses you to heal someone. It may even be spectacular. If you focus on following God, you’ll know whether it was genuine or not. Don’t do things just because you think they will make you seem cool, or extra holy. Do them because you know without a doubt that God wants you to do them.
Ask God to help you know the difference. Write your own prayer.