“As I (Peter) began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them (those in Cornelius’s home) as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave then the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 11:15-18)
The Jews Peter was talking to had the philosophy that you are what you eat. They thought Gentiles were pigs, and they expressed their dissatisfaction with Peter for eating with them. Peter told them about his vision, Cornelius, and the conclusion that God wanted the apostles and disciples to tell the Gentiles about the Messiah and treat them as brothers and sisters in Christ. God was beginning a new thing in the early church.
Peter was nervous about their response and brilliantly asked the question, “Who was I to think I could stand in God’s way?” It’s impossible to argue that question, so they praised God. It seemed like Peter’s story satisfied them and that they were happy with the Gentiles’ conversions, but we’ll see in Acts 15 that people don’t rid themselves of prejudice easily.
We’ve discovered previously that when a question is asked in the Bible, it is important, and we need to ask the question of ourselves. What will happen when we stand in God’s way? The obvious answer is that God will bypass us.
God is always doing new things. He is creative and wants our lives to be an adventure with Him, and He’ll do everything He can without destroying free will to get us to take that adventure. He may bypass us for something important he needs done immediately, but He’ll return.
God wants to do a new thing in you. Are you standing in His way?
Father God, I praise you for wanting to start a new thing in my life. I want to participate in Your adventure. Make your plans clear to me so I can begin doing what I can to start the adventure today. In Christ’s name, I pray, amen.