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"NOT Business as Usual"
Have you noticed how God usually challenges us to get out of our comfort zone? It’s almost as if He is pushing us further and further away from the trunk and out on the narrow shaky limb of faith and trust.
Peter had one of those “shaky limb” experiences. There he was, the leader of the New Testament church. He was a man of honor, and man of reputation. He had come a long way from his fisherman days. Now he sat on a housetop in Joppa (Acts 10:9-16), relaxing with the knowledge that he has done his job well.  Certainly the worst was behind him. Now that he had demonstrated his faithfulness the road ahead would certainly be smooth and easy. He was sitting near the trunk of the tree, but God was about to send him out on a limb.
God gave him a vision which was clearly an instruction to take the message to ALL people, Jew and Gentile. Peter had to be disturbed by this. This was out of the norm, this was a departure from the standard. This could cost him the respect of the other early believers. This could split the body of believers. What was Peter to do?
On the heels of the vision two men showed up inviting Peter to come to the home of Cornelius, a Gentile. [There’s your limb, Peter.] Should he go and risk everything he had worked so hard for, or decline and stay safely near the trunk of the tree?
Peter went, and Cornelius, and his entire family, was saved. But it all began when Peter decided to listen to God rather than his own instincts.
How often are we given the invitation to go out on the limb of faith? We are challenged to go and comfort when our schedule is already full; to give to a need when our budget is already strained; to witness to the lost when we struggle to find the right words; or to forgive even though the hurt is still fresh. What will we do when invited to go out on the limb? Will we listen to God, or stay close to the trunk of the tree where we know we will be safe?
As the saying goes, “If your dreams don’t make you uncomfortable then maybe they are too small!”

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:  I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)

 

 

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