Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. (Acts 2:43)
Many of us wonder what it would be like to experience some of the great events of history. We think of momentous battles, breakthroughs, inventions, triumphs, and tragedies and imagine what it was all like first-hand.
The life of the earliest church is one of those times that I wish I could go back and experience in real life. There is a rush of excitement in just reading what happened in Acts 2 and following – it would be amazing to experience this in daily life, even if just for an extended season.
Here in Acts 2:43 we have mention of two significant features of this exciting time. First, we read that fear came upon every soul. I like the New Living Translation of this phrase: A deep sense of awe came over them all. This in itself was evidence of the power of God. These people who once rejected Jesus had completely changed their mind about Him. Now they embraced Jesus as Messiah, Savior, and Lord. Therefore, they honored Jesus and His followers.
One of the greatest, most powerful works God can do is to change the human heart towards a reverent honor of God. This fear that came upon every soul (or sense of awe) means that this was not a light, superficial work. There was joy, but it wasn’t all laughing and silliness. People understood that an awesome God was doing a mighty work.
We also read that many signs and wonders were done through the apostles. When Jesus ascended to heaven, He wasn’t finished doing miraculous things on the earth. I believe that even today God isn’t finished doing miraculous things. We don’t have any indication that this meant that even the apostles could “perform” a miracle any time they pleased to – as if the power of the miracle rested in them. Instead, we see that God appointed that such miracles should happen, and the apostles were the willing servants to do such miracles.
These two things – the changed lives (fear came upon every soul) and the miraculous works (many signs and wonders) were evidence of the power of God. Where God is at work, lives will be touched in miraculous ways. We can never tell God what miracles to perform and how to do them, but we will see changed lives and examples of God’s power.
As I look at the Christian world today, I see many people excited about signs and wonders and such obviously amazing things. I understand why; when it comes to genuine miracles that truly give glory to God, I want to see more of them and not less!
I simply wish that more Christians wanted to see fear come upon every soul – including their own soul! Let’s believe God for great things and let Him take care of the miracle department. Yet each of us can humbly come before Him in awe and reverent fear. Let’s do that today.