Posted by: springsinthedesert | March 31, 2010

Faith Beyond The Man-Made Boundaries

"The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

             Acts 11:9

This particular thought had been in my mind for many weeks..Every time I think I should put it in words, Holy Spirit will have something else in store and I will postpone this for another day. Finally today morning, I felt an assurance that its time to write this thought.God had been asking me to come out of the boundaries of religion and seek God according to the heaven’s standard. At first, I did not fully understand what He meant. Slowly, He started explaining me with a scripture and that made complete sense. God spoke to me through Acts 11:1-18. He explained to me what He meant through Peter’s vision.

Peter was at Simon, the tanner’s rooftop, praying, when he went into a trance and saw this vision. He saw a large sheet, let down from heaven by four corners with all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. Now, this man who saw the vision is a strict Jew, though a follower of Christ. He had followed all the teachings with great importance and reverence. In the book of Leviticus, we read all about the laws given to the people of Israel regarding the food that they were supposed to take. God had given them laws regarding even clean and unclean food…Jews, even today, strictly follow these laws making them totally different from other people in the world…They make it a point that they will not mingle or indulge in the habits of this world. They are called to be separate from others and they remain that way in their lifestyle, actions and attitudes, no matter where they live.

What would have been our reaction, if we were in Peter’s place and a vision like this was shown to us? I would have rebuked Satan for showing me such inappropriate visions during my prayer hours.In other words, I would have never believed that such a vision can come from God considering all the unclean food that was in the vision as well as the order from heaven to ‘Kill and Eat’. Peter did not believe at first and that is the reason why he said, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.

He was so confident that the rituals and the teachings he followed this far was pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. He might have thought that the vision must have been a test to see his faith. But God had different plans about that vision. God wanted to change Peter’s attitudes about what he followed so earnestly till then and prepare him for a new beginning. So He said three times as a confirmation, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean. Immediately after that, Peter got a chance to apply his vision into his practical life. He was asked to go to a Gentile’s house to preach the Good News(Jews never associated with Gentiles). As soon as he finished preaching, Holy Spirit came upon them just like that day on Pentecost and they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. This was something new in Peter’s mission…This NEW WAY that they thought was only for Jews was now opened for all the Gentiles too..A Jew like Peter could not comprehend something like that except through a vision from God and he obediently followed God’s guidance in that and showed us an example.

Explaining this scripture to me, God asked me a question, “Do you consider anything impure that I have made clean?”. I think, I said “NO” too soon. But when I started seriously thinking about it, I had many things to confirm that I was wrong. I myself had made boundaries in my Christian faith where everything and everyone outside that was considered ‘impure’. I had attitudes which said, “my views are acceptable and holy” while someone else’s is outside the line that I have drawn.

I’m not talking about sin here. Sin, no matter small or big, is considered to be unholy in the eyes of the Lord. I’m talking about the preconceived notions we have about holiness, faith, and beliefs. It doesn’t take much time for us to pass judgment on someone else who shows a different attitude towards faith…and say “Impure/not pleasing to God”. We still live in the man made boundaries and rituals of religion( though we may find it difficult to accept) and consider ourselves so pure and holy…but what if God has a different attitude about it?

God is asking the same question to you…“Do you consider anything impure that I have made clean?”. If you said ‘yes’, then God would like to mold you in a different way, different from all that you have learned so far..because your corrected attitude is most important for your next mission ahead of you….You will be sent with the Good News to places, people and circumstances whom you may not consider going without this great revelation and a great change in your heart. When you decide to obey, you will be  a blessing to many and you will see a great anointing in other people’s lives through you.

God Bless,

Rani John

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Responses

  1. Hi Rani,

    I don’t know but sometimes I wonder how is it possible that God seems to be speaking to you about things He has already dealt with me about. Today’s verse was the most liberating verse for me in so many ways. Years ago, when I met my husband…who is Catholic, the Christian community around me started talking…and God was listening. Then after what was a very painful incident, I finally asked the Lord…about his position about my husband. Bang…DO NOT LET ANYONE CALL UNHOLY THAT WHICH I HAVE MADE CLEAN! He simply spoke into my heart. And so here I am telling you my story because I walked out beyond my religious boundaries! JESUS IS STILL LORD OVER MY LIFE! And my husband…I cannot trade him for anything in the world. God is faithful!

    Blessings and Happy Easter Week!

    Gladwell

    • That was a great testimony Gladwell…I’m glad that we all try to walk out beyond our religious boundaries…But , I often ask God a question..”How would I know your heart…how would I know what is clean and unclean according to you” …I think we need to ask God for wisdom, everyday of our lives..

      Thank You so much,
      Rani

  2. Greetings Rani
    One thought comes to mind when reading this very insightful message this morning. “But for the Grace of God, there go I”, we are all precious in God’s sight, but prisoner to sin. If we are freed from that bondage, we are called to loose the bindings of others, not judge whether they need to be freed. God Bless
    Jim

    • Jim,
      What you said is so true…we are nobody to judge whether someone needs to be freed..or someone has to act a specific way in the faith life…Its God who decides…We just have to pray for them..

      Blessings,
      Rani John

  3. Rani
    Thank you for echoing my own thoughts that I recently penned on the very same passage, although not as eloquently. Working in God’s paradigm is something we will always find a challenge because we try to compartmentalize everything in our human mindset. I know that it’s going to be a lifetime of correcting for me and I pray that I will be humble to receive God’s correction and willing to follow His direction.
    Blessings,
    Vineet

    • Thank you Vineet for you kind words…Its a lifetime of correction for me too…I feel that its the same with anybody in Christ…nobody is perfect…each day we strive hard to be more like Him and that pleases our Master..

      God Bless,
      Rani


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