Acts 10:45a “and those of the circumcision who believed were astonished”
This blog is really a rehash of an earlier blog concerning Peter and the vision of the sheet of unclean animals. God challenged Peter to trust him. Because of the vision, when the three men appeared asking for Peter, he followed them, going against everything he felt. Peter had the vision on his mind, and the Holy Spirit spoke to him and encouraged Peter to trust him. The first step is the hardest, but in verses 44-45, we see for the first time the Holy Spirit falling on the Gentiles. Peter and other Jews (the circumcised) were “astounded.” I want to be astounded in my ministry. Do you?
Are there scriptures that challenge you in your thinking or actions? Has God been dealing with you to change your thinking in an area that feels so comfortable? He is getting ready to lead you to your own”astonishment.”
Read over the earlier blog below about God’s words to Peter (Rise, Kill, Eat)
Acts 10:9 Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
God was planning on using Peter in a new way that would challenge some of his beliefs and traditions. God was opening the gospel to nations outside the Jews. But it was going to require a change in Peter’s thinking and traditions. God put Peter in a trance and lowered a sheet down that had many unclean animals by Peter’s standards. God said Rise, Kill, and Eat. Peter replied, “no, I have never eaten from unclean animals.” God said, “Do not call unclean what I have made clean.”
God was calling Peter to change a tradition and belief that was so ingrained that any thought of changing was unthinkable. Sometimes God will call us to change our daily patterns of activity and focus to be used by God. It may challenge us. God may want to use you in a new and fantastic way. To do that, He must give you a revelation, which will require you to change some habits and traditions in your life. After the vision, men from Cornelius arrived to ask for Peter. Peter went with them and followed God’s leading.
God showed Peter the trance to challenge his traditions and beliefs. Peter had to do more than just think about it. He had to put action toward this effort. It may not be an evil habit, but God may want you to change your life habits to open up more time for God. Today we have so many distractions surrounding us with streaming tv, social media, cell phone addiction, sports, and other activities. God may challenge you to change your daily focus. God told Peter to make a change, to do something outside his comfortable daily habits. Peter left with the gentiles. God may be calling you to spend more time with Him, to lead a small group, to change your thoughts about someone or a class of people. Reading more Godly books—volunteer for His purposes. You will need to rise from your normal life and make a change to follow God.
God was not only calling Peter to kill the animals (which he did not do). He called on Peter to kill some of his traditional beliefs. He knew it was God speaking to challenge him in a new way. To not call unclean what God has made clean. Peter was challenged to change his way of thinking. Peter was challenged not to let his past prejudice stop what God was doing. You may be challenged to kill some daily habits, things that would interfere with being used by God. Kill some addictive habits that keep you away from the Bible, prayer, and time to meditate on God and His word.
God was telling Peter this new journey was His plan. Peter was expected to follow God and the Holy Spirit by faith. When Peter later saw what God was doing, it changed his whole life.
God used Peter in powerful ways to grow His church in the Gentile world. God’s revelation to Peter that day on the roof challenged him to take action (Rise) in his life to trust God, to make changes (Kill) in his own traditions, and to walk in faith (Eat) and fellowship with God.
Following God is a challenge and requires changing elements of our own lives and habits. You never know what God will do with a person who, like Peter, will rise, kill, and eat their way to a powerful man or woman of God.
Let you lightnside be challenged by God this week and on to your own “astonishment.”