Imagine being in prayer, perhaps praying about how you long for the gospel to reach your own people group and suddenly you see a vision, and then hear a voice. Suppose that voice tells you to leave the comforts of your ministry to your own people and go, carry the message of Jesus to another culture, another people group you do not know. What if this call challenges all you have learned through your training and religious denomination. Would you listen? Would you obey the instructions given by this ‘divine voice’?
That was Peter’s experience. He had been called by Jesus to be with Him and follow Him (John 1:41-42; Mark 13:14-16). Those were three and a half years of intense training, only to end with turning his back on Jesus in the hour of greatest need. As with Peter, so our failure does not stop the divine plan from the foundations of the world. Peter was restored after the resurrection of Jesus and assembled with the 120 for prayer as the day of Pentecost arrived. Now, filled with the Spirit, Peter becomes a powerful tool for the Lord in building His Church.
Things were going well for Peter until this private, housetop time of prayer. Then the instructions came; “And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven” (Acts 10:13–16). Could he ignore this voice?
I am amazed at God’s patience with me!! He had a plan for Peter and patiently moved him out of tradition and comfort so he would carry the gospel to the Gentiles. God has been abundantly patient with you and me, and with the Church that in general has ignored the command to “GO” to “all nations” – ethnos – people groups (Matthew 28:19). Confirmation came to Peter, and it will come to us, not beforehand, but as we act in obedience to the Holy Spirit speaking to us.
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