God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean… (Acts 10:28).
Why did the church spread so rapidly in the book of Acts? It’s really quite simple, people listened to God and when He spoke, they acted on what He said by practicing obedience. Even when it took them outside their comfort zone.
Peter has a vision from the Lord where a sheet comes down out of Heaven, on it are many animals he has never eaten before. Since he was a Jew he was raised to follow the law of Moses and eat kosher. Then, God changes things, for the purpose of opening the door for the Gentiles to come into the community of faith.
Some of us are holding onto our old traditions, keeping people out of God’s kingdom, because they don’t look, act and think like us. Maybe having them in our lives causes us to have to go to a place in our hearts that feels uncomfortable. It means we must give up personal preference so that some might be saved. It means that the church has to stop becoming about us and start becoming a place where people come to hear from God and act upon what He has told them.
Yes, the church spread because God’s people went outside of their comfort zones, listened to God and acted upon what He said. In my life, there have been many seasons when I either have a hard time hearing from God, or He is speaking, but I’m not acting, because of fear, pride or self-preservation.
But you see, Peter had fallen so far into failure that now he could do nothing but obey when the Spirit called. I’ve experienced this kind of transformation too. Where God took me somewhere so deep in my heart that I never want to go back to those seasons of not listening, not obeying and not practicing my faith. Now, I can’t say that I do this perfectly, far from it, but what I am now fully convinced of is that God doesn’t need me to do more for Him. He needs me to listen more for Him. As we practice this simple principle we will find that God’s greatest blessings don’t come on those who do, do, do, but instead on those who wait, listen, heed and obey.
Lord, I want to be like Peter who listened, heard your voice and obeyed. I want to be like Mary who did not doubt what you said when you said it. I want to be like Abraham who picked up everything to follow you even though he didn’t know where he was going. Lord, I long to be faithful to follow, please help me do this for your glory, in Jesus name, Amen.