|We ought to obey God rather than men. -Acts 5:29b, NKJV|
One of the first challenges Jesus' disciples had to hurdle after His ascension was preaching the Gospel despite the opposition of the religious leaders. Peter and John, after making a lame man walk, were arrested. But the leaders didn't know what to do because they also saw how the disciples healed the man with the power of the Holy Spirit, so the leaders asked Peter and John not to preach in the name of Jesus. But the two, together with the rest of their group, were bold to say that they "ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29, NKJV)."
The NIV translation of the verse serves as a challenge to us: "We MUST obey God rather than men." Larry Crabb, the author of Encouragement: The Key to Caring, wrote in the book that he found his first time praying in a congregation too difficult that he swore at that time that he would never do it again. But a fellow church member encouraged Crabb and even gave his 1,000 percent support. Why? Because the church member knew that Crabb was obeying God. Even if in our standards, what we are doing to obey Him is unsatisfactory, the Lord is still delighted with that, because He knows that we are willing to obey His commands.
If you have a friend who has a hard time obeying the Lord and is keen on doing what people say, take time to encourage him and help him to accomplish the thing Jesus wants him to do. That's obeying God too. Let me declare it again: We must obey God rather than men.