July 15, 2021 - Acts 10:1-23
There have been several times in ministry where I have sensed that I was being led by the Holy Spirit. In each instance it was a settled assurance that what I was to do was the right decision. Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit is sometimes an ambiguous matter to discern. Is it personal desire or is it really the Holy Spirit that is speaking and are we to be responsive and obedient to His prompting?
We have two individuals in this passage that respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Cornelius, a Roman centurion, was instantly obedient to the angel speaking and instructing him to call for Peter to learn what he must do (v.6)! This man was a sincere follower of the Lord but did not know Him yet as Savior. Cornelius immediately called his servants and instructed them of their duties to find and bring Peter to Caesarea.
Peter was an apostle and a close follower of Jesus. He had spoken boldly for Jesus, endured persecution and had experienced visions, dreams and miracles since choosing to follow the Lord. As this vision was given to Peter, he immediately began to question and challenge the validity of the trance and its implication for him. Granted, Peter's vision was more difficult and appeared to contradict what he understood of the Law and its teachings. Peter's challenge came from his understanding of the Deuteronomy 14 passage and what God declared as clean and unclean animals (vv. 1-8).
An obscure voice spoke and instructed Peter to kill and eat and not to call unclean what God had cleansed (vv.13,15). Obviously, Peter could not kill the animals in the vision, and he was left wondering what all this meant when the men from Cornelius arrive. The Spirit spoke to Peter (v.19), and he began to gain an understanding of the Lord's instructions as he listened to their statement about going to Cornelius' house.
How sensitive and responsive are we when we are faced with direct leadings from God? When God prompts us to go where unbelievers are located and speak to them, are we ready? On Sunday evening we are learning to share with people about Jesus. In the book we are studying, we see that God moves people from the secular to the spiritual realm. A three-fold team is presented to remind us we are not doing evangelism on our own. The Word, the Work of the Holy Spirit, and the Witness of the believer work together as a team to present Christ. As the Spirit directs, be confident that He will give you the right words to speak.