How important is hearing the voice of God? If we want to stay in the center of God’s will, it’s a must.
Occasionally He will speak to us audibly or give us thoughts. Most of the time, however, He will speak to us through His Word.
God spoke to Peter in Acts 10 through a dream, repeating it three times. When God does speak to us, not everyone will understand or agree with it. That’s what happened to Peter in today’s story.
I have written a related post on this subject that you will enjoy. I called it, Do You Obey God The First Time He Speaks?
“But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. “You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said.” Acts 11:2-3
Through the scriptures, we have observed quite a transformation in Peter’s life up to this point. When he first started following Jesus his arrogance was obvious.
But he matured after some growing experiences and with the filling of the Holy Spirit.
So much so that he preached a Spirit-inspired message. And the Bible tells us that 3000 people were added to the church.
God broadened the base of the church by making it all-inclusive. First salvation expanded to the Samaritans and in Acts 10 to the Gentiles.
When Peter and his team returned to Jerusalem they encountered a spirit resembling that of the Pharisees. This attitude was the exact opposite of what the Lord wanted to accomplish.
The Old Testament Israelites were supposed to be the evangelistic arm of God. The Lord called to spread the goodness of God to the world.
Their problem, however, they couldn’t maintain a relationship with Him themselves, let alone invite others in with them.
Hearing The Voice Of The Lord Meant Change
Now the tide had changed. Unclean became clean and salvation expanded to all who would receive it. Why?
Because Peter heard the voice of the Lord and acted on it. He willingly moved past his comfort zone and followed God’s leading.
Back in Jerusalem criticism came against Peter but he didn’t try to defend himself. He just told the story.
“As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning. Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Acts 11:15-16
No one interrupted him as he continued. I’m sure those who were with him were shaking their heads in agreement.
And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” Acts 11:17
Are You Hearing the Voice of God?
Is God speaking to you? Hearing the voice of God is vitally important. But, obeying His voice is doubly important, even if you receive criticism.
I believe just about everyone who has stepped out in faith had critics. Just tell your story and let God get the glory!
Lord, you are still opening new areas of ministry and are adding more and more to the church. Just as you used Peter, we too are willing to step out to win souls for the Kingdom of God.
Check out the entire story in Acts 11.
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