When God Gives You An Unconventional Calling

October 30, 2017

Peter went up upon the housetop to pray…And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, and saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth.

Wherein were all manner of [unclean animals]. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

{Acts 10:9-15, KVJ}

God may sometimes use unconventional ways to get our attention — He certainly got the Apostle Peter’s attention that way!

According to Old Testament law, it was forbidden for the Jewish people to eat four-footed animals. They were considered to be unclean and would be punished for eating “wild beasts, creeping things, and fowls of the air,” which were specifically the types of animals Peter saw in his vision from the Lord.

It should not be a surprise, then, that Peter seriously balked at the commandment to eat the very animals he had been instructed to stay away from for his whole life!

But God had other plans for Peter.

After the Day of Pentecost was fulfilled and God’s Spirit had been poured out upon the 120 people in the Upper Room, Peter preached to the people the message of salvation:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

{Acts 2:38-39, KJV}

Peter was specifically preaching to the Jews that day, but what he did not realize was that the people who were “afar off” were not necessarily Jews. They were, in fact, Gentiles. Yet because the Gentiles were considered to be unclean according to the law of Moses in the Old Testament, the Jewish nation was not supposed to have relationships with them for they were not the promised nation of Israel.

In order for Peter to understand the significance of his sermon that the message of salvation is for “whosever the Lord will call,” God gave him a vision of eating unclean animals as a way to show him that he was supposed to preach Jesus and the message of salvation to the Gentiles — yes, the unclean people.

God called Peter to preach to the Gentiles: people the Jewish nation was previously supposed to stay away from. Similarly, Jesus may call us to do that which is startling and perhaps a bit contrary to a current Christian subculture mindset.

What and who we call unclean may be where and to whom God is calling you to take the message of Jesus and salvation.

We are called to be set apart from the world for the glory of Christ but we are also called to work within the world to make a difference, to save the world from being lost. Even Queen Esther was required to go beyond conventional means to save her people. She married into a Gentile family all for the purpose of preserving the Jewish nation. She disobeyed the law of the land because it was better for her to obey God.

And so I will go to the King, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

{Esther 4:16, AMP}

You do not know what God has purposed for another’s life — therefore to obey and follow His guidance (even when He calls unclean “clean”) is to fulfill something greater than an object lesson.

Had Peter not responded to the voice of God and preached Jesus to the Gentiles, he would not have had the opportunity to preach to Cornelius and his household and witness the miracle of Gentiles’ salvation experience:

The Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us [the Jews] in the beginning [on the Day of Pentecost].

{Acts 11:15, AMP}

The gift of salvation was meant to be given unto the Gentiles just as it was meant for the Jews. Jesus came to save all humankind, not only one specific group of people. Peter had preached the message of salvation on the Day of Pentecost to the Jews, but God had to work in his heart through the vision of unclean animals in order to fulfill the very words he preached. Because Peter accepted the vision God showed to him, he was able to witness exactly what he had preached on the Day of Pentecost: for the promise really is unto all people!

Will you follow Peter’s example and go beyond what conventional Christianity calls “clean”? Will you step outside of your comfort zone and out of your box to reach out to someone just to share with them the gospel of Jesus and the message of salvation?

Are you willing to accept the unconventional calling God has placed upon your life and be the authentic you he is calling you to be?