God's Irritating Invitations

ENGLISH

While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days. — Acts 10:44-48

So here's the situation. Cornelius, a Gentile, has received a private vision from God. Peter, a Jew, has also received a private vision from God. The vision declares that Peter is supposed to go present the message of the resurrection of Jesus to a Gentile. And this broke about every rule of Judaism. But Peter is obedient. So he travels two days too far back into the region of Samaria to a town called Caesarea. He takes six other Jewish believers with him, who probably thinks he is a little nuts going to a well-respected Roman Centurion commander who is a Gentile. As they arrive at his home, they are shocked to find that not only is Cornelius present and excited to greet them, but he has invited a large number of other people, including his family and close friends. I would assume this might have been a pretty intimidating bunch of people for Peter and his friends.

But Peter, as promised, delivers a message. And then, right in the middle of it, God interrupts him.

And God interrupts him with an incredible spiritual event. It's a second Pentecost event. It's approximately 10 years after the first one. But now, we are witnessing the broader fulfillment of a promise that Jesus left with the disciples. A vision for the expansion of the Gospel to all people everywhere, even to the ends of the earth. And the Holy Spirit falls upon Gentiles for the very first time, which is a major validation of the very private vision he has given Peter about a gospel for all nations.

I don't know about you, but I have been interrupted by God. Many times he has hijacked my plans in big and small ways. And sometimes, these interruptions are irritating. Primarily because what I am trying to do cannot get done. My control is gone. My agenda is destroyed. My emotions become exposed. And sometimes, I implode or explode.

But, consider this. What if all the events we define as interruptions were not interruptions at all? What if God used them to merely get our attention? And if we truly believe that God is in control of all things and we are not, then logically, aren't all interruptions really divine invitations. Invitations for us to participate in something unique and spiritual?

Today I want you to see every little interruption as a divine invitation. From the smallest event to the largest one. Look at that super irritating phone call or email as a divine invitation. Perceive your needy child, a surprise invoice, or an unexpected car issue as a divine invitation. See that major health issue, catastrophic financial misstep, or even company layoff as a divine invitation. And I know this might be harder to do the larger the interruption, but if God is really in control, shouldn't we believe that his plans are better than our plans even if at the moment they feel like an interruption? So perceive these events differently today. Look at every event from his angle. See his plan. And I bet he might show you something that you have never seen before that will leave you amazed rather than irritated.

ASK THIS: What's irritating you today?

DO THIS: See it as your divine invitation. (Share below what God is inviting you into)

PRAY THIS: God, show me how all these irritations are a part of your divine plan. My heart is as ready as it will ever be.

PLAY THIS: I Am Not Alone — Kari Jobe.

SPANISH
FRENCH
AFRIKAANS
DUTCH
CHINESE

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Irritating Invitations

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20 thoughts on “God’s Irritating Invitations

  1. David Dunbar says:

    I have been reading your devotionals for about a year now and find them very helpful and thought provoking.
    But this one made me think deep. God used it to catch my attention. Here is how He did that.
    I am 56 years old, I have a wife, ( married 30 yrs), 4 children 2 grown, and 2 that are 17, and 18, and one grandson who lives with us. I have been in ordained ministry for 31 yrs as a youth pastor, pastor, and associate pastor. During this time I have been bi-vocational ,always working another job full time or part time. I have seen my lion share of irritations.
    But, I have never thought to look at them as invitations. What a eye opener! Thank you for your words of hope and encouragement and allowing God to speak through you, to me.
    God is changing my thought process. Trust me, that is a good thing, because I have become very cynical in the way I have seen things. I have asked the Lord to unchain my heart and brake up the hard ground. You words of wisdom are a part of answered prayer. Praise God.

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  2. Eddie Ackerman says:

    my kids not getting along with each other, specifically my middle two children at each other’s throats daily, and just not paying attention when they are told to do something.

  3. Chris says:

    I have so many interruptions right now that are heavy on my heart from work to family to a crisis investigation that I’m drained

  4. Sheldon says:

    Believers lack of interest in the things of God. sharing their faith, no involvement in their local assembly

  5. Darin P. says:

    Listening to God’s interruptions and understanding can be very difficult as Cory stated. Everything does happen for a reason and understanding that is getting somewhat easier as I get older but still can be challenging for me to just go with it and give up my control on the situation at hand!

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  6. W James Anderson says:

    I would venture to say most of what God does and says seems like an irritation at first. Bring it I say. We will be interrupted and irritated. Expect it. Our natural man is still in need of saving. Even as justified people. Our salvation is not complete yet. Oh God, help us to notice your ways. Help us be patient. Back up and take the time to see the eternal perspective. We will never fully know what He is doing but we will notice how it changes us. And that…. I am okay with. Bring on the mystery. Thanks again Vince. Peace🌺💀🌺

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  7. Troy Theye says:

    God……what do you want to say to me today, what do you want me to hear, see, notice or do.
    Speak to me with your Spirit. It is your will and direction for my LIFE.

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  8. Ed Wilds says:

    This was very encouraging and thank you! It is very neat to see the great change in the life of Peter, from the upper-room with Jesus to the centurion’s living-room. Instead of saying thou shalt not wash my feet, to heading out of town to Cornelius’s house. Amen?

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  9. Cory B says:

    I believe all things happen for a reason and it’s Gods will. However, it can be very difficult to see things in a positive light when it’s not what we expected or wanted. I pray my eyes and ears will be open in all circumstances and I can appreciate all kinds of interruptions.

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  10. Justin Owens says:

    Morning, Vince. Checking in from hurricane-ravaged southeast Louisiana to say that I love the exhortation to see annoyances from God’s perspective. That’s not gonna be easy for me, which is why I know I need to do just that. God bless and keep fighting the good fight.

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    • Jos G says:

      Praying for you guys from here on the prairies in Canada. May God be with you folks during this incredibly hard struggle and bring you to a better place.

      ‘And the Lord commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, “Be strong and of good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore to give them: I will be with you.”
      Deuteronomy 31:23 RSV’

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