A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.”
“No, Lord!” Peter said. “For I have never eaten anything impure and ritually unclean.” (Acts 10:13-14)
In today’s passage, we encounter Peter who still tells God “no,” not once, but three times just as he denied Jesus three times. Peter does this even after being with the God-Man in the flesh, after watching Jesus go to the cross, rise from the dead, and experience the Holy Spirit come upon him. And yet, isn’t this the same denial we all too often do in our own lives? Perhaps we don’t say it so directly, but we put our actions on the backburner. Or we effectively say “no” because we don’t fully comprehend what the gospel means for our lives when things get uncomfortable. We are new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) and that changes everything.
We are no different than Peter. It’s clear that he held his past identity, his Judaism, to the core. It shaped who he was, how he interacted with others, and guided how he lived for so long. We, too, may hold things closely, using the excuse of how things “always have been,” or worse, move through the motions of life without much thought about how we ought to view different aspects of our lives. But there is an incredible hope from an amazing God who has provided us with more than we need through the Holy Spirit, the written Word of God, and our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In times where we are convicted of sin or when God is calling us to do His will, one response would be to rest in prayer and listen to the Holy Spirit. It is written, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Prov. 3:5-6). We also can encounter God directly through the Word as “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). And we can receive wisdom and guidance from the family of God (Prov. 15:22). We can be confident in this because we have a good Father who loves us beyond our comprehension.