Whilst Cornelius’ messengers are on the way to Joppa (v.8), Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. As he does so, he became hungry and…fell into a trance. The Divine connection of Cornelius and Peter came about in very different ways (v.3, cf. vv.12-13) but was orchestrated by the same Person.
Peter sees a vision of kosher and non-kosher animals (v.12) and hears a voice tell him to
“Get up, Peter; slaughter and eat!”
(Acts 10.13, NET)
Peter then, in typical fashion (Matthew 16.22, John 13.8) replies to the Lord with a ‘no’. He says that he has never eaten anything that is common or unclean. The vision is repeated three times and Peter hears the voice tell him that
“What God has made clean, you must not consider ritually unclean!”
The bigger picture point that God is making through the eating of certain foods will become clear later in this chapter but for now we see that whilst Peter is born again, that whilst Peter has the Holy Spirit living in him, Peter is still Peter. David Guzik writes:
“God didn’t use him because he was perfect, but because he was in the right direction and he was available. We often fall into the trap of thinking that we must be perfected until God can really use us”.
We will never be the finished article this side of eternity (Philippians 1.6) but God knows and God sees that we are submitted and committed to His Word and His ways and this is enough for Him to use in us. We will never reach a point where we flawlessly live the life He wants us to live (Hebrews 8.7) but we can reach a point where we accept this and turn to God for the help we need which comes through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus, and the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit.
Peter was still Peter, and you are still you. We don’t need to be perfect before we are used by God, just in a place where we want to be. Posture, not perfection, is what the Lord looks for.