Message: In Acts 10 there is quite an
orchestration going on by God, but each person sees only his own little part of
it until it all comes together. What really amazed me here is that each of them
had a vision/visitation encounter that would prepare them for something they
would need later, and ultimately direct them to each other. They each had
something different to learn from it and their obedience was critical.
Cornelius already had a heart for God and a good reputation for his charitable acts
toward Jews. He was a gentile who hadn’t heard the gospel yet. He sent for
Peter and gathered his friends and family in preparation for what Peter would
bring. He had no idea what that would be, but he obediently prepared for it.
Peter was a Jew who had the gospel, but God was teaching him that the law had
been fulfilled and he was to no longer abide by the previous commands to call certain
things “unclean”. This included a lot of animals they had never been allowed to
eat, but it also included association and fellowship with gentile people. Peter
had no idea that God was preparing him to preach the gospel to gentiles and
that he was literally going to send him to a gentile home where he would
probably eat gentile food and share the gospel with people. He followed without
question and if he needed anymore confirmation, God spontaneously baptized all
of these gentiles in the Holy Spirit to show Peter that he was with them also.
Command: Listen to the small things that God
is speaking. Even if and especially if I don’t seem to have a full
understanding. Every act of obedience is connected to something or someone else
and it’s always bigger than all of us. We have no idea what God is orchestrating!
Promise: God is constantly moving and working
and he’s doing it all through us. Our obedience not only brings reward to us,
but it blesses other people too.
Warning: If we don’t obey in the little things
we stop up or delay something God is trying to do through us.
Application: As I read how this all fit together I noticed
that even though these directions probably seemed odd and very uncomfortable,
both of them obeyed without question to what they were directed to do They didn’t
sit on it for a while, question whether it was God, or delay anything. They
took the tiny piece God spoke to them and acted on it. All of the pieces began
coming together after the obedience. Not before and not even during. This
really challenges me because I think so many times I hear a thought or an idea
and just sit on it because I’m not sure, or it sounds weird, or it’s inconvenient,
or so many things! What id wither of these men refused to move forward? What if
Peter said, “no way! I’m not going to a gentile’s house!”. The salvation of all
of those men would have been delayed. I don’t say lost because God would have
gotten it done through someone else, but he would have had to orchestrate another
plan If Peter hadn’t obeyed. Today I’m asking God to open my heart and tune my
ears to pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to me. Help me to act
even when it doesn’t make sense. Help me to obey God like someone’s life
depends on it!