And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” Acts 10:15
As ugly as it is and as much as we don’t want to believe it, we all have prejudices. Places we pre-judge; pre-convict others. We are prone toward judgment, bias, and justifying our actions while condemning others. Even if we genuinely and sincerely don’t want to.
In Acts 10 we see how gentle God is with us when He is breaking down our prejudices to further His kingdom. I don’t know about you, but this is what I want. I want to chase truth, not just my idea of what truth is. I want God to soften my heart where I am wrong about things that don’t line up with His truth.
The story begins with an essential prerequisite to understanding truth: time with God. Both of the main characters in this account, Cornelius (a Gentile Roman officer) and Peter (a devout Jew and apostle), are in the habit of time in prayer with God. Our chances of hearing and obeying God are significantly improved if we spend time with Him. During a time of prayer, they each hear from God. God is orchestrating a meet-up that will change both of their lives…and ours as well.
In prayer, Cornelius sees a vision, and God instructs him to send people to Joppa to bring Peter to his home to hear what he has to say.
Roughly thirty miles away, Peter is in prayer and falls into a trance. The heavens open and a great sheet descends, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals – clean and unclean according to Jewish law. God’s voice comes to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” Peter has come a long way, but Peter is still Peter as he replies, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” God is patient with Peter. He replies, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” Three times Peter received the same instructions. And while pondering the vision, the Spirit tells him three men sent by God have come, and Peter is to accompany them without hesitation.
Questions: Because of preconceived ideas or bias, do you think you ever miss people or assignments from God? How can you change this?