“The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." But Peter said, "By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean." And the voice came to him again a second time, "What God has made clean, do not call common." This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.” Acts 10:9-16
As this is our first devotional entry, I thought a good place to start would be look at the theme of new seasons.
Have you ever been so certain regarding how to approach a situation? Have you ever felt that your way of doing something would definitely please those you hold dear to you? Have you ever thought that a particular plan of action would be certain to win you browny points with someone senior to you? These are all things that Peter thought were going to happen after his vision.
I have always found the concept of seasons extremely fascinating. Whether that be in the context of each of the four divisions of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter) or the application of particular seasoning to alter the taste of food.
One thing we often neglect when we think of seasons, is the period of preseason. Preseason is the time where you put the hard work in to prepare for what is to come. The disciples had a preseason: It was their 3 years when they walked and talked with Jesus that prepared them for their season from Acts 2 onward.
If it wasn’t for their preseason, you could argue that they wouldn’t have been able to go on to accomplish all that they did. We also see this idea of preseason with professional sportsmen and women. Before their season starts, they have an intense period of preseason to help prepare them for what they are stepping into.
Often as Christians we do not appreciate the preseason and quite often mistake it for an attack from the enemy, when actually it is a God ordained period of time, put in place to prepare us for the season we are about to walk into.
In this week’s reading, we see Peter, a man who had the ultimate preseason with the ultimate coach, still getting to grips with the new season he was in. With Jesus ascended into heaven, Peter, with the help of the Holy Spirit had to figure out some spiritual truths for himself.
What’s significant of Peter’s new season, is that we see a man who’s prayer life is so genuine it leads him to become hungry. Let’s not forget that this is the same Peter who was unable to stay awake with Christ to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane.
So, What was Peter hungry for? On the face of it, it seems to be food, however it is my belief that God was instilling in him a greater hunger but he doesn’t realise it yet. Why do I say this? It is because in his vision, Peter sees all types of animals which God instructs him to kill and eat. Peter’s response that he has never eaten anything that is uncommon or unclean, represents the fact that up until this point he hadn’t reached out to the Gentile community, but what God was communicating to Peter was that the same blood that has washed him has washed them also.
So what am I trying to try? In the same manner Peter was operating below his God given birthright until his vision, it is my prayer that after reading this week’s entry, you will begin to understand that as a child of God, God has given you access to the things and areas that were previously inaccessible. Ask yourself who or what haven’t you tapped into. What are the things that you currently believe are off limits, which you know if you stepped out in faith would help you to glorify God.
As you walk into your new season, it is my prayer that the things you once thought were not for you, you will understand are for you. The areas you once considered to be no go areas, you will understand that God has ordained you to have access. I pray that from today onward, you will begin to operate in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, which has no limits or boundaries!
It’s your new season! Walk into it, kill and eat!