“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13)
I don’t mind really. There’s something satisfying about knowing the aisle for laundry soap and the one for body soap and that they are about a mile walk away from one another. Or that there’s tape in hardware and different tape in stationery.
Perhaps it’s that I usually shop with at least one of my kids. Strangers probably see me and think, “She has children. I bet she’s in here ALL the time. I’ll ask her where to find stuff.”
It seemed natural enough until I realized just how familiar I was with the Wal-Mart after trekking there more times than I’d like to admit every week for almost eight years.
I glanced down at my shopping list one day and discovered I had automatically organized it by quadrants of the store. Every item was listed in the order I would find it on my usual route.
Now that’s a lot of time in Wal-Mart.
The time we spend anywhere shows up in our lives. We can’t hide our influences or interests or the habits and relationships that take up the most space on our calendar. Our conversation is flavored, our mannerisms influenced, our choices altered by the way we spend our days.
It was the same for the disciples.
After Jesus’s death, resurrection and ascension to heaven, these Christ-followers became quite the trouble-makers. They preached sermons and performed miracles all in the name of Jesus, to the dismay of the Sanhedrin or religious leaders, who thought that a dead Jesus was a problem solved.
When Peter and John were arrested and stood before the Sanhedrin, Peter—the guy arrested for giving sermons about Jesus— decided to give another sermon about Jesus.
He spoke the bottom line truth: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Was this a fisherman talking? Was this the guy who had denied Jesus three times, now preaching salvation through the crucified Jesus to a group of men who could crucify him, too?
The Sanhedrin wondered the same thing: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13)
You couldn’t miss the miraculous change in them. “These men had been with Jesus.” And it showed.
It should be that evident in our lives also. Our time praying and meditating on His Word should cause a life-revolution. People should see us and think, “I bet she knows where to find hope, joy and peace.” They should witness the changes in us over time and think, “Clearly she’s been with the Lord.”
For Peter and John, this brought life change—spiritual insight and boldness.
For Moses, time with God impacted Him physically. All those days in the presence of God’s glory on the mountain made his face glow–literally. And he couldn’t cover it up with some Covergirl face powder. Even Mary Kay couldn’t do the trick.
It was so distracting to see this glow-in-the-dark face and how it faded over time, that Moses began wearing a veil to hide it.
Paul tells us that we glow like that, too, when we’ve been with God.
Yet, he also tells us that unlike Moses, there’s no reason for us to hide the glow of glory that comes from God’s presence. In 2 Corinthians Paul writes:
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Unlike Moses, our faces are unveiled so that all can see the transformation God works in us over time, making us ever more like His Son. This change only happens, though, when we’ve been with Jesus.
People will be able to tell where we’re spending our time, what’s occupying our thoughts, and what our priorities are. If it’s not God, that will show up on our faces and in our lives, too.
But I want my face to glow with God’s glory. I want my life to be a like a sign that says, “This girl has been with Jesus.”
Just like Peter and John. Just like Moses. Just like Paul. When we spend time with Christ our life will glow as we reflect Him.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King