Saul Is a magnet for confrontation and soon has to escape from Jerusalem as well. He is sent to Tarsus, well over 300 miles away, and for a time the conflict settles down.
But the Spirit is moving and the work continues.
The book of Acts shifts its focus to Peter who is traveling, visiting the faithful in the region of Lydda.
We do not associate conflict and persecution with Peter. Under the tutelage of Holy Spirit he is no longer bombastic and self assured, he is a man who knows who he is in Christ Jesus.
In Lydda, meeting a man who had been an invalid for eight years, Peter speaks to him almost incidentally, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” No dramatic preaching, no apologetics, no arguments, only evidence. As a result people put their trust in the Lord.
When God moves, the word gets out; it always does.
There are others who call on Peter, this time to raise the dead. Alone with the body, Peter prays. No show of gifts, only faith.
Then turning to the dead woman he says, “Tabitha, get up.” A simple directive statement - she gets up. He restores her back to the community.
God works through the stormy and the quiet ones, the settled and the unsettled. He looks for those who learn to trust Him and act on that faith.
Many like Peter are moving through the stages of maturity: from an early awareness of our sinfulness to the arrogant belief that we are Jesus’ only true friend, then on to a time and a place when we deny him and learn of our own weakness and His eternal calling and loyalty.
This is when we become quiet, more introspective in the deep assurance that he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion.
This is when we begin to grasp the heart of the Father, and to do and say the things we see Him doing.
This is when we speak in quiet assurance to those in need, “Get up.”