Acts 10:19-33 (ESV)
And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.” And Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?” And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.” So he invited them in to be his guests.
The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”
And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Peter is struggling to take this all in. Notice that he asks the same question twice. In the first paragraph he asks the three men, “What is the reason for your coming?” They tell him, yet Peter says to Cornelius, “I ask then why you sent for me.” All this is after the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.”
Peter hasn’t forgotten his rooftop vision either. He knows something big is up, and he gets enough of it to say, “God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.” Yet he wants more clues.
So Cornelius recounts how a man stood before me in bright clothing and told him to send for Peter. Then he invites him to explain the gospel.
Peter knows that cue.
If you got a clear invitation to present the gospel, would you feel comfortable giving it? You should; the invitation is a sign. The Holy Spirit will guide you. Conversely, forcing the gospel without an invitation is unwise regardless of your skills and experience. Pray for the right opportunity.
Note: asking for the opportunity commits you to following through if God gives you what you asked for.
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