Surprise Me, Lord
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa. — Acts 10:1-8
This is a pretty big moment. This event occurred somewhere around 10 years after the initial arrival of the Holy Spirit. And what is happening here is a man, who is not a Jew, is receiving a divine revelation. Remember, up until this point, most of the efforts we have witnessed have been Jewish or Samaritan conversions to Christianity. These two groupings would have presented the most fruitful opportunities for early disciples looking to evangelize.
But Cornelius is different. He is a Gentile. He is also a warrior of distinguished military influence commanding a large group of Roman soldiers. It is safe for us to assume that he was probably not in the hot red center of potential people that a disciple would target. Yet God targets him.
You know, I have been a Christian long enough to realize that sometimes God will do completely unexpected things. He will do something that appears to be "out of the norm" to help us see something that we have never seen before. And occasionally, he brings someone to a belief in Him that will surprise us. And guess what? Peter is about to be greatly surprised by something he has never seen before.
I want you to try something today. Instead of starting today directed by your plans, agendas, and lists, why not invite God to surprise you? Start your day with this simple prayer — "Surprise me, Lord!" And then wait. Watch and see what God does. Listen for God to direct. And then respond to Him in obedience. I bet God will show you something or speak to you about something you have never seen and heard before.
ASK THIS: Are you ready, really ready to be surprised?
DO THIS: Surprize me, Lord.
PRAY THIS: God, prepare my heart and surprise me.
PLAY THIS: Unexpected — Long Hollow.
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