vv 19-20 Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.”
A vision must be a very puzzling experience! Is it a dream, you might say to yourself. Perhaps God is trying to say something to me – really? And if He is, what on earth does it mean? Or even – Ugh, I had too much cheese for supper! Peter was puzzled – but he got the answer quickly enough. He was convinced the Holy Spirit was prompting him to act immediately, and respond he did. The visitors had a problematic message too; Peter was instructed to go to a Gentile house, not a welcome message for a man steeped in Jewish culture. When we read on Thursday from Chapter 11 we will find Peter being fiercely criticised by his fellow believers in Jerusalem for deciding to go on and mingle with these gentiles. Peter was a risk-taker however (remember how he jumped into a stormy sea when Jesus told him to?) and so he reacted quickly on this occasion.
I have never been instructed through a vision of this kind, but I have been prompted to act on particular occasions, as maybe you have too. Some of us may be more sensitive than others and quickly become aware that God is in the situation and doing something unusual. It is all too possible to write off that kind of prompting and relegate it to the ‘Perhaps sometime’ category. I have been a little too wary at times, I suspect, of situations when someone has said ‘God told me to’. But God does speak – He is a God who communicates with people – and it is possible that many of us need to be more alert and sensitive to what is being said. It may require a prompt response from us.