Monday, October 29, 2012
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When I visited the Alamo I felt the emotion of a place that was made pretty special by sacrifice. It was February 1836 when that little Spanish mission went into the history books. You remember the story. The Mexican forces, thousands strong, were advancing to crush the little Texas independence movement. Sam Houston needed time to organize his troops in order to fight back, and he did get that time because of what happened at the Alamo, and he did win, and they did get their independence.
But in the meantime, the Alamo was the key to victory. One hundred and eighty-six freedom fighters took a stand in that little mission called the Alamo; a stand that is still over 150 years later synonymous with heroism. You know, "Remember the Alamo!" Colonel William Travis was in command that day. The enemy demanded surrender, and Travis's answer could not be misunderstood. In fact, it's the same answer I hope you will give to the enemy's demands on you.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Unintimidated."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Acts 4, and I'll begin reading at verse 24. It gives you a little insight into the battles being fought by the early church. Now, the Sanhedrin, the Jewish leaders, have called in Peter and John and have told them not to preach any more in the name of Jesus. And it says, "After further threats, they let them go." They could not decide on how to punish them because all the people were praising God for what had happened. So, they basically tried to shut down the witness of these people.
The church gets together in a prayer meeting and prays like this in verse 29, "Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak Your Word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand and heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant, Jesus." Man, that's a powerful response! The Sanhedrin had organized the crucifixion of Jesus not long before. These men could have possibly arranged for the same fate for the apostles they were trying to shut down. But here this bold prayer comes back as an answer. Now, they're experiencing heavy pressure on their faith, and they seem unintimidated. They're talking about miracles; they're talking about boldness.
Reminds me of that stand at the Alamo. Colonel Travis received the demand to surrender, and he said to his troops, "There has been a demand from the enemy that we surrender, and I have answered with a cannon shot." Huh! I love that! "I've answered with a cannon shot," he says, "and our flag still waves proudly. I will live and die as a soldier."
Now, maybe the Devil's been trying to get you on the defensive lately and demanding your surrender; you're being hammered, and squeezed, maybe overwhelmed. The temptation is to back off, to retreat, to nurse your wounds and maybe to not take any risks. But would you look at your heritage in Christ? When other Christians in the first century were in that situation, they were bold; they came out asking for miracles to do the supernatural.
Where did this bold response to trouble come from? This cannon shot? It comes from a prayer meeting; one that if you read their prayer here in Acts 4, focuses on God's character, God's power, God's history, and God's promises. And when you size up your situation, your opposition in light of God's power, you are ready to go on offense. You don't need to play defense. Hey, maybe the enemy has demanded your surrender. Well, answer with a prayer-ignited cannon shot, "I shall never surrender! I shall never retreat!"
In spite of the bombardment, you can stand firm in Jesus' name, and you can be unintimidated.