"Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God."
Then Peter asked, 'Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?' - Acts 10:44-47
What do you do when someone asks you to trust them? For me, I am usually asked to trust someone when they are trying to sell me something. Or convince me of something. Or convince me to do something.
My experiences have been that when someone had to convince me to trust them, it’s because they know, and I know, that I shouldn’t trust them. I have way too many examples of this being the case. When I was growing up, it was usually my neighbors, Lance and David. We would occasionally ride 4-wheelers together in the fields behind our houses and through the surrounding woods.
You notice I said they were my neighbors and not my friends. I should have known better when they told me they wanted me to follow them on a “new” trail and to trust them. It was totally safe. It turned out they wanted me to trust them and follow them so they could play a trick on me they saw on TV. They had tied a rope across the trail so that I would hit and fall off my 4-wheeler when I came behind them. I almost lost my head from following that “trust me.”
In high school, I told my parents they could “trust me” because I was going out with my friend, John. He worked for my dad at his drugstore. I assured them of course they could trust John. I left unsaid that he was a couple of years older than me. He could buy beer. You see where this is going…
For much of our marriage, I told my wife she could trust me. Of course, she could, I was her husband. I would never hurt her or lie to her or cheat on her. But she couldn’t trust me because I was an addict, a liar, and very very broken.
In Acts chapter 10, Peter went up on the roof to pray. God came to Peter and gave him a vision that was weird and confusing. It also went against everything Peter had been taught. Stay away from unclean food and unclean people. Only, God had a different plan. God told Peter that some men were coming to see them, that he was to go with them, and to trust Him.
Peter had an advantage that I didn’t have with my neighbors, that my parents didn’t have with John, that my wife didn’t have with me. Peter could trust God. God is trustworthy. So, Peter trusted Him.
Peter invited the men in, stayed with them, and then followed them to their unclean, Gentile home. To a place he wasn’t allowed to go as a Jew. But God had asked him to. Peter knew he could trust God. Jesus grabbed Simon and transformed him into Peter, changed his life, gave him a new purpose, and kept His promises to him. Peter could trust God.
In the Gentile place, Peter preached the Gospel to the Gentiles. The unclean Gentiles. Nowhere in his sermon did he say that the Gospel wasn’t for them or that they must become Jews for it to apply to them. God told Peter to trust Him, to remember that the Messiah came for all people, and that Peter, by trusting Him, got to tell them all about the good news of Jesus Christ.
Who do you trust? I have learned to trust God. He only has the ability to keep His word. Only He can transform lives. Only He can restore marriages. Only He can give us a purpose that fills that God-sized hole we all have in our hearts.