October 19, 2017 – Who Am I To Question God? – Pr. Chuck Adams
““As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them 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 them 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?”” – Acts 11:15-17 NIV
Studying today’s scriptures in Acts 10-11, it brought to heart my own weaknesses with questioning God’s plan. One, in particular, was when it took me out of my comfort level. But first, let’s understand what Luke’s message is here in these two chapters and then the verses in (Acts 11:15-17).
In Chapter 10, Luke first describes Cornelius, the Roman centurion in Caesarea, and his vision received from God. Cornelius, although a Roman centurion, was a God-fearing man who gave to those in need, particularly the Jewish, and God saw and recognized him for that. So in a vision, God sent His angel messenger and tells him to send for Peter (and God’s plan for both Peter and Cornelius is set in motion). At the same time that Cornelius’ men is traveling to Peter’s house, God gives Peter a vision as well. Peter’s vision of a “white sheet and all kinds of four footed creatures flowing from Heaven and then God’s voice to “get up, kill and eat” at first confused me, as it has others. Then I thought that God was giving Peter and other Jews permission to kill and eat animals thought to be unclean and forbidden in their old Jewish laws. But as I read further, God says, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean”. God was showing Peter that it was okay for he and other Jewish-Christians to enter the homes of Gentiles to bring them the Good News of Jesus Christ. God was preparing Peter for the arrival of Cornelius’s messengers as well as his eventual meeting with Cornelius at Cornelius’s home. Once Cornelius’s men arrive, having been prepared by God, Peter provides lodging for the men the night before they leave for Caesarea to meet with Cornelius. This was a first step of faith in God’s plan towards accepting the Gentiles (against Jewish practices and laws) and traveling to Caesarea to meet with Cornelius.
When Peter arrived in Caesarea, both he and Cornelius share their visions and message from God. During Peter’s stay, he “feeds” the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a “very hungry” Cornelius and Cornelius’s household, baptizing them and, at which time the Holy Spirit also came upon them, fulfilling God’s plan for Cornelius and Peter’s service for God.
So, if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way? (Acts 11:17 NIV) . It was this verse that kinda summed it all up for me this week with regards to “Questioning God and His plan for us… for our lives”.
My whole life I thought that it had been my responsibility to take care of “me, my family, and, especially, my children. Although already a Christian, as a dad, I never really fully trusted that God had His own plan for the lives of each of my children and that His plan may not necessarily be my plan or the same as mine. Or maybe I just didn’t understand this.
So about two years ago, when my daughter Brittney approached me and told me that she was moving to Redding, California to take some classes and pursue Worship Music at Bethel, I was blind sided and my first reaction was “NOOOOOOOO! I’m Not okay with this!”
As a police officer for 25-years and seeing only the ugly in the world, I struggled with this decision and tried every which way to keep it from happening. Dads, haven’t you all tried at one given time or another to lead your children in life, certain directions, around obstacles, or through difficult decisions for them, for you or your plan, even though down deep inside you knew that you needed to let go … and let God? I dug my heels deep until one evening, and I remember it as if it were yesterday, Brittney came over to “meet with her dad”. As I was breaking down and telling her that “I was not okay with this decision”, basically, that “I was not ready to let her go”, she started crying and told me that, “she has been in prayer and she has tried in every way to talk herself out of this ‘plan’ but the Holy Spirit keeps bringing her back to ‘God’s plan, not ours. Just then, as Brittney mentioned the Holy Spirit and God’s plan, it finally set in, “Who am I to question God and His plan?”. Was letting Brittney go any easier? Absolutely not! But the moment I released her to God, I was able to receive God’s peace that “as much as I loved my daughter, just as He loved His Son Jesus Christ, He loved Brittney more than I could ever imagine to love her”. Since then, Brittney’s life and walk with the Lord and our lives and walk with the Lord have been blessed beyond measure. When we first trust in God and allow Him to work His plan in our lives, we are blessed. Remember, that there is only one plan and that is God’s plan. Anything else, we are simply being disobedient to God and telling Him that we don’t trust Him in our lives.
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for all the blessings that you give us in our lives. Even when we are not trusting you fully. I thank you for our loved ones and we pray for peace and safety over each one of them. Give each of us the courage to know your plan and more importantly to always follow it. I know that your love for each one of us is immeasurable. Thank you Lord. We love and praise you always and give you all the glory. In Jesus Name…Amen.