But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while… “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
(Acts 5:34, 38-39 NIV)
As I sat in the meeting, praying for wisdom and guidance, I was reminded of Gamaliel’s words in Acts 5:38-39–if it’s man’s will it’ll fail, but if it’s God will it’ll prevail. Gamaliel spoke more accurately than he realized. If the apostles’ purpose or activity was their own doing, he advised the Sanhedrin, it was bound to fail, but if it was God’s doing, then there was nothing anyone could do to stop it. Gamaliel gave an example of two missions that failed because they weren’t from God, “Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered” (Acts 5:36-37). However, the apostles’ mission was successful because God was behind it.
If it’s man’s will it’ll fail, but if it’s God’s will it’ll prevail.