God's Guardrails

Jon Burgess


“Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.” Acts‬ ‭9:31‬ ‭NKJV


Throughout the Book of Acts we get these summary statements from Luke on what the acts of God through the actions of His people resulted in. This one stopped me in my tracks because of the contrast in the wording. Luke directly attributes the multiplication and maturity of the church to walking in "the fear of the Lord" and in "the comfort of the Holy Spirit". These two seemingly opposite attributes of the Presence of God among His people provide a key to "walking" or moving forward into the consistent growth and life God has for His people. These are the guardrails of God.


Its easy to get distracted when driving and distracted driving is dangerous for both those in the car and for those on the road with us. Guardrails are put in place on a road to keep the inevitable drift or swerve from becoming deadly. This narrow road we have been called to travel has a chasm on each side. On the one side is the cliff of pride. When life is successful and the plans are coming to pass it's easy to swerve off of dependence upon Christ or careen off the side into pride. This is where the Fear of The Lord guardrail comes into play in our journey. The awe and reverence for God brings me back to that place where I want to ensure He gets all the glory for any good that's going on. It's a desperation for His presence above positions, reputation, and man's praise. The fear of the Lord is saying, like Moses, "if your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here" (Ex 33:15). On the other side of the narrow road is the cliff of pain. Like Job losing all he had in fell swoop or Stephen being stoned to death for preaching the Gospel pain threatens to derail our faith quicker then anything else. This is why we desperately need the guardrail of "the comfort of the Holy Spirit". He brings us consolation and encouragement when our eyes are blurred with tears and our body racked with pain. He is the strengthening presence who hears us when we cry and fills us when we are empty. The comfort of The Holy Spirit is the confirmation that we are not alone no matter what our circumstances threaten. We cannot travel this road of faith to the end without both of Gods Guardrails in place: The Fear of the Lord saving us from the pit of pride on one side and the Comfort of the Holy Spirit saving us from the pit of pain on the other.


I want to thank You Lord for the growth and life that is coming by Your hand to the New Hope movement. My prayer is that our church in the 21st Century would continue to look more and more like the church in the 1st Century. This morning You have revealed how to see the multiplication and the maturity of ministry will come to pass. I pray that the Fear of the Lord and the Comfort of The Holy Spirit would be at work in my life and the lives of Your believers here on a daily basis.

Devotions for October 19

Job 5
Psalms 108
Acts 10,11

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