In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said.
Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel.
And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He is staying with Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.”
As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier, one of his personal attendants. He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa….”
Acts 10:1-8 NLT
I would have to look it up in my journals to be exact, but if my memory serves me correctly, I want to say it was the earlier part of 2008….maybe even as early as 2006.
I was reading through this exact passage in Acts when suddenly, a dissatisfaction set in over me. I had already been walking with God for several years. I believed the Bible. I believed in the Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. I’d read this specific story several times before. I was well acquainted with it and even knew how it “ended”. But that day, something caught a hold of my heart. As I paused after reading these few verses, I felt grieved that this type of encounter – this type of intimate relationship – one in which God would lead someone so specifically to a place and a person for a divine meeting – was only something I had read about.
As far as I could think back, I couldn’t recall a time where I felt so….divinely guided. I couldn’t think of a time where I could say I had heard the voice of God that clearly for myself. I couldn’t think of a time where I had felt a prompting that led me to do something or go somewhere that didn’t make ANY sense. And the realization of this fact stunned me, while creating a longing inside of me that was so deep, it hurt. It hurt my heart to know that I had been “okay” with settling for anything less than what God had for me.
And so I stopped right there, dropped to knees and prayed, “I want THAT, God. THAT kind of relationship with You. Teach me how to know and hear Your voice. Cause me to recognize – so very clearly – Your Presence guiding me. Give me the courage to DO whatever You call me to do. Let me see others the way You see them. And work through me…this way. The same Spirit You put in them now lives in me! I want to live like that! The way I see it recorded time and time again in Your Word.”
God answered….and continues to answer this prayer. For it has become the passionate hunger that now marks my life. Since that day, I’ve heard Him and continue to hear Him – both for myself, and sometimes, for others. There have been several encounters, divine appointments, and I pray there are many more.
But here’s what I wish to leave you with…..
It’s all according to what we BELIEVE, and what we are HUNGRY for. This thing – this life that we were created to live..it’s not just a set of rules or religion. It’s a relationship we are invited into.
But the question is, will we go on, business as usual? Or will we let what we know is possible drive us to discover the life we were created for – the life Jesus came to give us?
Wherever you are, whoever you are, even if you have belief the size of a tiny little mustard seed. If you’re hungry, and if you call on Him – here’s what I know: He will meet you right where you are and make Himself known to you. And your life, my friend, will never be the same.