PART TWO - WITH GOD: devotional series
By: Ryan Moore
Often in business or in life we find our self looking forward to the end result. We want to know that whatever we are working on, that it has a purpose or a goal that will one day be reached. I think the easiest example of this principle, for me, is in mowing the lawn. Now, some of you take great pride in your lawn… to the point that the neighbors are beginning to talk about how strange it is when you’re on all fours measuring each blade of grass to make sure they line up perfectly. However, the rest of us are just trying to knock the grass down before we get another letter from the Home Owner’s Association telling us that we’ve been voted “ugliest lawn in the neighborhood” for the 3rd month in a row. :) It doesn’t matter how you feel about your lawn, it’s impossible not to step back after a few sweaty hours of work and look at the masterpiece you’ve created. It’s such a great feeling when you set out knowing that in a short time, all your work will be worth it and you’ll have a clean-cut and fresh looking yard.
I think sometimes, for some of us, that is why we struggle in the area of relationships, or in our relationship with God. You see, if you don’t know what your end result is “supposed” to be or what you’re wanting from it… then you never really have a purpose for the time that you spend with God. There is a famous quote from Zig Ziglar that says, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Sadly I feel that’s how many of us operate in our devotional life and intimacy with God. We have no overall purpose or plan to it, other than… “uh… my pastor says I should read this, then pray.” Is it any wonder that we don’t get anything out of our devotional moments with God? We have to know what we want and have a purpose for our time with Him. Otherwise, it’s like we are holding the handles of the lawn mower, only to look down and find ourselves still standing in the garage.
Read Acts 10:1-22 - Click Here To Read
In Acts 10, we find Peter traveling and preaching the gospel. One day around midday, he went onto the rooftop to pray and spend time with God. It was there, in that moment, that God revealed a vision to Peter in order to change how he viewed animals and people that the Jews considered unclean. When the 3 men arrived at the door, God had told Peter, “Do not hesitate, go with them.”
Read Acts 10:23-48 - Click Here To Read
Peter traveled with them to the home of Cornelius, who was Gentile. (non-Jewish person) This was against the Jewish custom and law, but God told Peter in the vision to not call anything unclean that God had called clean. After a short time with the all friends and family of Cornelius, Peter could clearly see that they were true followers of Christ and he baptized them all that day.
You see, it was through Peter’s intimacy and time alone with God that he was shown the vision that began to change his perspective on people outside of the Jewish faith and it was in that moment that God told him, “3 men are at your door, don’t hesitate, go with them.” I don’t know about you, but if 3 random guys show up at my door and say, “Hop in our car, we want to take you somewhere,” I doubt my response would’ve been the same as Peter’s. But you see, that’s my point, if Peter wasn’t up on the roof praying and spending time with God, he would’ve never known to change his perspective on Gentile’s and would’ve never known to travel with those men to visit Cornelius. And it was through that visit that all the people in his house were baptized and came to know Jesus in a new way.
Sadly, I often wonder how many opportunities we miss in our daily life, because we don’t stop enough to hear the voice of God and to have that intimate relationship with Him. Are there people showing up in our life that we are supposed to be witnessing to, but completely miss out because we’re not hearing from The Lord. What if Peter hadn’t gone up onto the rooftop that day… how different this story would have been. For that sake of those men and women who were baptized, I’m thankful that Peter was spending time with God.
REFLECTION AND APPLICATION
- Read through Acts chapter 10 again. Write out anything else that may stand out to you.
- Are there people in your life right now that need to hear about the love of Jesus, but you’ve been missing the opportunities to share it with them?
- Are you finding time to just sit and receive from God?
- What is your overall purpose for why you want to spend more time with God? For Peter, it was through his time with God that others became baptized and grew closer to God as well.
Father, I pray that you would grow our relationship with you. That our desire for your presence would grow and that out of the moments that we spend reading your word and listening to your voice, that we would then be fueled up to go out proclaim your glory to all the world. Amen