In Acts 10:9-23 Peter is still at Simon the Tanner’s home, which was probably a very common home. He finds himself on the rooftop of the house at noon and as he waits for his meal to be prepared below he sees a vision. Here is what the scripture says, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord. I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice told him not to call anything unclean that God has made clean. Wow!! This is huge for a Jewish man who has held to tradition for so many years and has honored it in every way possible. This vision was life changing for Peter and he had to trust it was from God and that it was his “new way of life.” The way God showed Peter his new approach about eating was by a vision of a sheet coming down from above with all kinds of animals that were considered unclean and impure for Jews to eat, in accordance with scripture in Leviticus 11. It is unclear whether this was the Lord preparing Peter to preach to a Gentile people group, but the implications are warranted in believing that God was preparing Peter’s heart and mind to be able to freely take the gospel to a lost and dying group of people who, up to this time, had been bypassed by those who were carrying the message of Jesus. Apparently the message of Jesus was going to go into hyperdrive in coverage and Peter was a huge part of God’s plan in sharing that message. This falls into line with Jesus’ teachings about life change and that it was for “whosoever.” Take a look at Peter’s progression. Called from his vocation of fishing…..called to follow Jesus……Denying the Lord….Reclaimed by the Lord…Compelled by Jesus to “feed my sheep”….Experiences the Spirit of the Lord at Pentecost…..Preaches and 3000 people are saved……Goes to Lydda and heals a lame man and sees Tabitha raised from the dead…. The entire town becomes believers….Sees a vision from God that all foods God has called clean are clean…..Is invited immediately as he is seeing this vision by some men to come to a Gentile’s home…. God has a great plan and He puts us right in the middle of it if we are willing. It’s not necessarily for the super rich or super educated (Peter was an uneducated fisherman) and not only for the Billy Graham’s of the world, but for all who will be faithful.
We see this attitude of comfort in modern day American churches. We rely on others to tell us what to do and how to do it. We also let them tell us what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Instead of relying on God’s Vision for our lives we get fitted into what others might think we “should” do. We ignore the unexplained and shy away from the radical. We fall into a very “easy believism” that is controlled by people who may not necessarily be walking with God at all. We have visions of God doing a mighty work but we fall away from that vision because we doubt if we can even be put in such a mighty place of change. So, we fall away from what God is calling us to do because of fear. Think about this. Peter was held to a belief about food and overall lifestyle that was ingrained in his life. His way of life was way beyond tradition. It was who he was!!! Praise God he had the Holy Spirit working in his life so powerfully or he might have stayed on that rooftop and just ignored the vision from God and believed it was indigestion. He might have said no to those coming from the home of Cornelius and sent them packing….empty. But the Spirit of God WAS very powerful in his life and Peter trusted the Lord and the Holy Spirit in his life. So he took the next step and as we will see in the verses ahead, impacted the entire world to be able to receive eternal life through Jesus Christ. It all started with him being told by God to change his diet and start experiencing other foods and experiencing life change.
What is your spiritual diet? Are you willing to step out of your box and experience God in a whole new plane? Some may say, “Oh you mean getting the Holy Ghost.” Just as a point of reference. We get the Holy Ghost when we accept Jesus. It could be living a life that is led by that Holy Spirit that should be controlling your life now. Whatever it is for you, if God is trying to change your spiritual diet, I would listen. He may be making moves to upend your world and use you to spread his gospel in a whole new direction. Those moves could include Him putting your name on someone’s heart to contact and set you free to change your world. At the same time he could be giving you a vision for your future that will require you to change your spiritual diet and start looking at ministry and the call of God in a totally different way. It may not be a sheet coming down from heaven, but it will be something that God will challenge you to do for Him because He wants to specifically use you and you alone.
Time to be willing to change your diet and start accepting God’s vision for reaching this world in a whole new way. Have you become fat on the traditions of other people or are you eating fresh, spiritual food that God has given you. Do you have a hunger for God to use you in an extraordinary way? Then let that spiritual hunger turn into action and make an impact on this earth while you still have breath. He has a great plan for doing it and we just need to be faithful to follow that plan and get out of the diet of our past and accept new ways of doing the reaching. God is doing a new thing and that new thing is ready for your participation. Will you take on this new diet? Souls are waiting to be changed. One thing is for sure, you will need to be tuned in to God by spending strong, faithful times of prayer with Him to make sure you are hearing Him right. THEN GO! That begins now!!!
The Pilgrimage continues….