Free to become Acts, #38 Acts 10.9-17
We took our seats, or rather, placed our seats on the stone rows of the amphitheatre and considered Peter’s experience at Caesarea 2000 years ago. God spoke through visions and through an angel to Peter with the message:
“A relationship with me through Jesus the Messiah is for all people.”
Friends, clear your busy mind... ask God to speak to you as you read or listen. Seriously, take a moment and ask God to speak to you from his Word today.
Besides the message of no racism, no favoritism in the church that we have gleaned, there is something else we need to take from Peter’s vision. God let Peter know that something was in the way of their relationship. Take a brief look at this, and then I will explain how it rocked me on my limestone seat:
Luke writes in Acts 10, “Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the sky open and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles and birds. Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.”
“No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” [stay with me here]
15 But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven.
Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean?”1
Here it is: For Peter, Jewish law had gotten in the way of his relationship with God … God showed him that through the animals on the sheet. God was looking to change Peter’s heart.
He got his attention with a sheet. Fact is, God can use any old thing to get our attention. He used a bush for Moses, a donkey for Balaam, right? Talking real talk, if God were to lower a sheet from Heaven to you or me, saying, ‘Hey, Dan, you have let this thing come between us. I know you haven’t stopped to think about it, but if you do, if you will listen, I will tell you . . . and it is important because it/this thing is stifling my power and presence in your life.’
What would it be?
What is the stopper in your relationship with God – that thing that limits him from being fully God in your life, that thing that keeps you from being fully ‘you’ in him—what is the sheet that comes between you and God?
~>is it busyness? ‘O God, I mean to spend time with you, I want to start my day with you, but you know how it is God, right? I mean I wake up to 37 messages that need to be addressed. Besides. . .’
~>is it worry? ‘God, you know that I pray to you all the time about my concerns; but the fact is, my concerns are really worries.’ ‘God, you know my husband/ my wife, my children are far from you, and the disparity haunts me! Honestly, it seems I obsess about my kids’ futures at times; heck, and my future too!’
~>is it your own selfish desires or greed? ‘God, I would really like to be closer to you, but I have a lot of things to do, all these things to accomplish, so I guess I am choosing to just keep you at arm’s length right now, ok? Well, I guess you’re not okay, and neither am I, but that’s all I’ve got to give right now.’ Yet these things you have to do are keeping a barrier between you and God.
~>or is it your thoughts of what other people might think of you?
~>is it addiction that is robbing you and God of one another--of the fullness meant to be yours?
~>or is control the thing on your sheet, a barrier between you and God? You won’t give yourself fully to God because you want to be in control. Friends, control is an illusion . . . surely you realize that! Ask God to lead your life – surrender yourself to the One who knows, the One who sees around corners you cannot. No sheet between you.
Because while your sheet separates you from God in some fashion, it also leaves you weighed down with things you were not meant to carry. When you let God take your sheet, you are free ~ free to become.
God wants so much more for us than we can ever imagine~
1 – Acts 10.9-17
2 – Exodus 3.1-12
3 – Numbers 22.21-39