NEVER SAY NO TO GOD WHEN HE ASKS YOU TO DO SOMETHING
“About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, 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.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.” (Acts 10:9—15)
God dealt with Peter in a way that shattered his cultural norms and ideology and his adherents to the traditions of his elders. God often works in ways that contradict and are contrary to how we expect or want him to work. God gave a vision that changed the apostle Peter, the messenger, and Cornelius, the receiver of God’s grace. God’s plan and visions usually challenged the messenger and the message recipients. It brings about challenges and changes that we are used to.
Peter’s vision was too small and confined, while God’s vision was significant and far-reaching. While Peter was praying, God gave him a vision that stretched and ultimately changes him. God’s vision is always, always bigger than we think. God’s vision changes us before we change those we try to reach. A few principles I observed today are worth the time to meditate upon.
Firstly, as I mentioned earlier, God’s vision is bigger than our prejudice and traditional and cultural values. God works outside of my comfort level. Secondly, God’s vision never depends on my ability and knowing how to do anything required. Only God can equip me to do what is necessary to fulfill his vision. Thirdly, I must never say it is impossible when God says it is. Peter told God the vision was impossible to do. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, reptiles, and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” Peter noticed some unclean animals he knew as a youngster were not suitable to consume. God returned with a response saying; The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
I learned I don’t have the right to tell God what can and can’t be done. God had to show Peter THREE TIMES the same vision. God has to work three times to convince Peter of his vision and plans. Three times is a significant number to Peter. Peter was asked by Jesus three times if he loved him. Peter denied Jesus three times when he was accused of being with Jesus in the garden. We all need to learn the heart of Peter, that even though he struggled with the challenge, he was willing to go through it, and God used him for his purpose.
I learned today that I should never limit God’s vision in my life just because of my limitation. I want to push beyond my limitation and trust God to make what he asked me to do a reality. I desire to be stretched and challenged by Jesus to do the things I cannot do.
Father, I ask that you open my eyes to see things your way. Please help me to trust your vision and purpose rather than default to my limitation. Open my mind and heart to think how you think and act as you have empowered me. Stretch me to the point that I am willing to do whatever you ask. Amen!