“So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?” Cornelius answered: “Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.” Acts 10:29–33 (NIV84)
Both of these men, Cornelius and Peter, acted in obedience to the visions they received from the Lord, without knowing the rest of the story. Cornelius did not know why He was sending for Peter, and Peter did not know why he was being summoned to go to Cornelius’ home. Regardless, both men acted in faith and obediently did what they were told to do by God. You can tell by the questions they ask. Peter basically tells Cornelius, “OK, I am here, why did you send for me?” Peter wants to know what’s next. Cornelius responds with an explanation of the vision he had and sits down among his family and friends and asks Peter, “What have you got to tell us?” How utterly amazing. Even at the moment of their meeting they are both clueless as to why God wanted them to meet. Peter is asking, “Why did you send for me?” And Cornelius is asking, “Since you’ve come, what do you have to say?”
The beauty of this encounter is that God was the one who had a purpose and a plan in place. God was simply using them. But note this very important point. If either of them chose to be disobedient to their vision, this encounter would have never happened and God would not have used Peter to bring the saving message of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to Cornelius’ life. They first had to be obedient. Then God worked through their obedience to do a great work. What about you and me? Are we being obedient to the call God has placed on our hearts? Are we allowing ourselves to be used by Him to do great things for the kingdom of God?
I pray that we are! And I praise God that he can use us, as frail as we are, to do great things for his kingdom.